Fresh and lively, textured and vibrant, luscious and juicy, Tuesday night is the perfect night to enjoy a Pinot Noir. Wine from the delicate variety is being produced with character and personality from cool climate regions across the globe, here are a few favorites that are approachable and always delicious.
Benefiting from constant breezes off the Pacific and evening fog that settles through the vineyards, cooling delicate fruit through the night, Migration Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($44) leaps from the glass with vibrancy and light freshness. Sunshine-filled days ripen the luscious fruit, ensuring that freshness is met with juicy flavors of raspberry, cranberry, and pomegranate, with a touch of earthy woody herb and toasted spice from a touch of partially new French oak aging. Approachable and easily enjoyed on its own, or pair with anything from grilled steaks, chicken, river fish, or spring vegetable risotto.
Nicely structured, with concentration and texture, Calera Mt. Harlan Mills Vineyard Pinot Noir ($84) tells the story of place in the glass. Sitting at 2200 feet above sea level, in limestone-filled soils, Pinot Noir vines develop fruit with tension and complexity, while maintaining approachability. 100% whole cluster fermented, adding spicy, herbal notes, along with tannic structure, to red and blue fruit-filled flavors. The resulting wine has freshness and richness, melding red cherry, strawberry, and boysenberry, with toasted cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and an earthy, dried leaves and woody herb backbone. Pair with herb-roasted chicken or turkey, or fennel sausage stuffed peppers.
Produced from dry-farmed vines averaging 30 years old in age within the Sonoma Coast AVA, just inland from the Pacific, Lake Sonoma Winery Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($38) harmoniously showcases balanced refinement, with a bold character. With subtle tannic character, and bright fresh acidity, the approachable wine opens with raspberry, blackberry, Bing cherry, and cola notes, with floral layers of violets and wildflowers melding with soft herbs like tarragon and mint. Pair with aged cheese, quail or cornish game hens stuffed with fresh herbs, or cola braised pork belly.
From Pinot Noir fruit grown with an influence from the Pacific coast to the west, and the volcanic range of the Cascade Mountains to the east, Joseph Wagoner’s Elouan Pinot Noir ($22) is crafted ensuring fruit delivers vibrant freshness and savory minerality. Utilizing a touch of whole cluster fermentation, enhancing the texture and structure of the delicate fruit, imparting layers of earthiness in the fruit-filled wine. The silky palate shines with layers of red and blue fruit, forest floor and truffle, with subtle notes of purple flowers and pipe tobacco. Pair with roasted salmon or a grilled peach salad.
Located north of Santiago along the Pacific coast, Chile’s Limarí Valley showcases quality with affordability in their coastal cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay options. Here fruit develops slowly, ripening with grace, maintaining freshness. Marques de Casa Concha Limarí Valley Pinot Noir ($22) is exuberant while maintaining subtly with notes of wild strawberry, raspberry, and red licorice with floral and woody herb aromas. Pair with spicy Asian food, roast salmon, or shellfish.
Premium quality, with a fantastic price, Landmark Overlook Pinot Noir ($25) melds fruit from 72% Monterey County, 15% Santa Barbara County and 13% Sonoma County, each enjoying cooling breezes off the Pacific ensuring the fruit is kept vibrant and fresh while showcasing ripe, juicy, fruit-filled flavors. The wine opens with layers of red cherry, clove, vanilla, and star anise on the nose, followed by layers of toasted oak, baked cherry cobbler, and licorice, framed with powerful acidity.