Pinot Noirs That’ll Make You Purr!

Feb 20, 2011 by

Good Pinot Noir can make my knees weak and cause me to utter funny moaning noises. It?s embarrassing, but I try to control myself. I am a wench, after all.

I absolutely hated the movie “Sideways,” but had to agree with the sentiment and fervor it helped stir up about my favorite red varietal. Don?t at all like the way it made the prices shoot up, but fortunately for me and other “Pinophiles,” there are still some really good Pinots out there at affordable prices. In fact, all the wines we tasted were $40 or less and our panel favorite was $24! Yay!

We tasted a goodly handful of Pinot Noirs from all over California. The following wines were our favorites:

Panel Favorite!
Five Stars
La Crema
2009 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir $24

This is a $60 Pinot in a $24 dress. It’s super-varietal – one sniff and you know this is Pinot with a capital “P.” Aromas of rose petal, cherry, raspberry, cinnamon and a whiff of smoke lure the taster into a silken mouthful of consistent flavors. Buy some. Buy some now!

Five Stars
Balletto Vineyards
2009 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir $24

This bargain Pinot Noir is earthy, yet refined, complex and sexy. Think Scarlett Johansson poured into a red satin gown, smoking a clove cigarette and nibbling on a piece of warm cherry pie and you’re halfway there. Gorgeous!

Four Stars
2009 Vintner’s Reserve CA Pinot Noir $18

Wow! What a delicious deal on a classic Pinot! Mouthwatering aromas of rose petals, juicy cherry, savory green herbs and vanilla delight the nose and continue as flavors in the silky-smooth mouth. Fantastic!

Four Stars
Gloria Ferrer
2006 Gravel Knob Vineyard, Carneros Pinot Noir $40

Big, dark and sultry, this Pinot is not for the faint of heart. Reminds me of Lenny Kravitz wearing a black leather motorcycle jacket, carrying a dozen red roses and a basket of fresh cherries. He is knocking at my front door. Gotta go!

Four Stars
Thomas George Estates
2009 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir $38

This Pinot Noir is beautiful and spicy, with abundant raspberry, strawberry, baking spices and caramel aromas and flavors. Penelope Cruz, wearing nothing but a smile, eating flan, topped with fresh raspberries with her hands.

Four Stars
Gloria Ferrer
2006 Rust Rock Terrace Vineyard, Carneros Pinot Noir $40
Aromas of wild strawberry, forest floor, mint and a whiff of smoke continue as flavors in the velvety-smooth mouth. This wine is like a romp in the woods with Gwyneth Paltrow.

Four Stars
La Crema
2009 Monterey Pinot Noir $24

Sassy, spicy and so good that it’s slightly naughty, this Pinot reminds me of Anthony Bourdain, wearing nothing but his apron, baking a strawberry/rhubarb pie while spicy ribs marinate on the counter. Oh yeah!

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