Pinot Noirs To Make You Purr

Sep 14, 2009 by

I love Pinot Noir – it’s one of my favorite red wines. I didn’t used to love it, back when I was but a young Wine Wench. Age brings wisdom and good taste. And gray hairs. Sigh.

OK, I’m aging myself here, but twenty years ago, there were good Pinot Noirs to be found, but you had to look a lot harder. Unless you spent big bucks on a Burgundy or a few select producers, perfect Pinots were predictably rare. All of that has changed. Yay!
There is a stunning variety of excellent, knee weakening, lip smacking, sighs-of- pleasure-inducing Pinot Noirs readily available for reasonable prices.

Pinot Noir compliments a wide variety of foods – you may easily serve it with sushi, lamb, duck, cheeses, salads, roasted vegetables and more.

My panel and I had the pleasure of tasting a variety of Pinot Noirs priced under $40 from all over California. Of the wines we tasted, the following five were our favorites (This time the panel favorite was a tie!):

Five Stars – Damn Near Perfect!
Merryvale Vineyards
2007 Pinot Noir, Carneros $38
There’s a famous scene in the movie “When Harry Met Sally,” where Meg Ryan fakes an orgasm in a restaurant and an older woman says to the waiter “I’ll have what she’s having.- This Pinot is all that in a glass. You’re gonna want some of this!
Enticing aromas of black cherry, plum, spicebox and fresh forest floor lure the taster into a plush, sexy mouthful of yum! Consistent flavors of dark fruits and spice and linger through the finish.

Five Stars – Damn Near Perfect!
La Crema
2007 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast $24
This gorgeous Pinot is a “knee weakener” for sure – at a value price, too! Buy some. Buy some now! Plum, cherry, orange peel, rose petal and licorice aromas continue as flavors in the voluptuous, silky mouth. Long, lovely finish.

Four Stars
MacMurray Ranch
2007 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast $28
Black pepper, mint, clean saddle leather, plum and black cherry aromas meld seamlessly. It is silky smooth and balanced in the mouth, with lingering flavors of cherry, berry, plum, pepper and mint. Yum!

Four Stars
Hearthstone Vineyard & Winery
2006 Pinot Noir, Paso Robles $25
Tempting scents of strawberry rhubarb pie, orange peel and vanilla are balanced by peppery spice and a whiff of smoke. There aromas continue as flavors in the richly textured mouth.

Four Stars
Mac Murray Ranch
2007 Pinot Noir, Central Coast $20
What a bargain!! This is a great Pinot at a great price!
This is a big, bold, almost Zinfandel-like Pinot – abounding with aromas and flavors of blackberry, mocha, vanilla and pepper all wrapped up in a decadently rich mouthfeel.

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