I realized that this year I’ve bought and consumed a lot more Pinot Noirs than before. Not sure if it’s because of my recent fascination with Burgundy or just the fact that I love fruity but powerful wines, but we’ve had some lovely Pinots this year.
Most of the folks I know often reach for Cabernets or other Bordeaux blends during the holiday seasons, especially given the variety of food that you eat. But you definitely shouldn’t overlook Pinot Noirs as an addition, especially as an opener red wine (or even star of the show!). Below I have selected some of our favorite Pinot Noirs we’ve had this year in no particular order, they’re all stunning.
Hamilton Russel Vineyards Pinot Noir 2017 $44
South Africa isn’t really known for their Pinot Noirs, but more for Pinotage. But the Hamilton Russel Vineyards Pinot is absolutely stunning, lots of earthy and spicy notes with the fruity nose that you’d expect.
Tim Hamilton Russell bought the piece of land in 1975, and it’s one of the most southerly wine estates in South Africa. In 1991, his son Anthony took over and decided to focus the vineyard to produce Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Hamilton Russel Vineyards
Kosta Browne Russian River Pinot Noir 2015 $99
This was given as a gift to my wife early this year, and at the time I didn’t really know much about this winery. A quick search revealed its pedigree and I must’ve been living under a rock! It’s a great wine, with complex flavors and aromas. If you enjoy Cabernet, you’ll love this one.
Kosta Browne is situated in Sebastopol, California and was started by Dan Kosta and Michael Browne back in 2009. Although they’re still part of the winery, they did sell it to Duckhorn Wine Company in July of 2018.
Goodfellow Whistling Ridge Pinot Noir 2016 $45
This one had a lot of fresh fruit on the nose, think strawberries and cherries. It’s a complex wine that can easily go with any dish you serve during the holidays. Or you can even enjoy it by itself with some good company. Buy a few and keep some stored in a cool dark place for a few years.
Goodfellow Family Cellars is located in Willamette Valley, Oregon and begun their journey in 2002. It’s a fairly small production winery with about 4,000 cases annually. Their Pinot Noir ages in French oak barrels for around 17 months and is bottled without any fining or filtration.
Goodfellow Family Cellars
Evesham Wood Mahonia Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 $35
Another Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley! And again it doesn’t disappoint, lovely fruits mixed with earthy notes. Hints of vanilla, oak with a wonderful level of acidity. I really balanced wine that can be enjoyed by itself or around the dinner table with Beef Wellington and mashed potatoes.
Russ and Mary Raney founded the winery back in 1986, they grow Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer. In August 2010 winemaker Erin and Joran Nuccio took ownership and continued producing incredible wines.
We were fortunate to have a few gems this year when it came to Pinot Noirs, like a 1985 Camille Giroud Volnay 1er Cru Clos des Chênes we shared with the owners of Petrichor at Benu before we left San Francisco. And wines like the Kosta Browne mentioned above. But you can get some incredible wines around the $50
Want to learn more about Pinot Noir? Head over to Wine Folly for all the information.