This month, the Bottlenotes team looked outside Sonoma and Burgundy for some terrific pinot noir recommendations. Pinot noir is a highly sought-after wine that often costs a pretty penny. The grape is also pretty picky about where it grows; only thriving in the perfect conditions. But these wines will make you want to look outside the typical regions more often (and often at a fraction of the price)! Find these wines at your local wine shop and share your favorite pinot noir wines with us!
CLOS DE LA TECH "Domaine Louis Louise" Pinot Noir 2009 (Santa Cruz Mountains, CA) $42
Silicon Valley tech titan TJ Rodgers and wife Valeta achieve a truly Burgundian wine with their Domaine Louis Louise pinot noir from the Santa Cruz Mountains. Black fruit notes (blackberry, plum) evolve into a medium-bodied, luscious wine, with surprisingly smooth tannins. Hidden gem of a wine. Find it HERE.
FRANZ KELLER “Franz Anton” Schwarzer Adler Pinot Noir 2010 (Baden, Germany) $42
In Germany, pinot noir is called Spätburgunder. The grapes for the “Franz Anton Selection” wines are grown on a number of different vineyard sites on volcanic bedrock at varying altitudes on the Kaiserstuhl Mountains. The low yielding vineyards create a wine that has a dark red color and full flavors. When it’s young,the wine is especially appealing to to drink thanks to its silky texture. Find it HERE.
LEMELSON VINEYARDS “Thea’s Selection” Pinot Noir 2011 (Willamette Valley, OR) $30
We couldn’t keep this stuff on the shelves of the wine store I used to run in Manhattan. What was interesting about it was that it seemed to appeal to every type of customer – the ramen-noodle-eating students at Hunter College around the corner, and the posh upper east siders alike. This speaks to its broad appeal and immense quality-to-price ratio. Beautifully structured, with prominent cherry fruit, violet and that wonderful Willamette earthiness, at $30 it may not be your typical Tuesday night dinner wine; but, for a few cases of Cup Noodles or about 1/100th of a Prada bag, it’s definitely worth the splurge. Find it HERE.
SOKOL BLOSSER Pinot Noir Estate Cuvée 2010 (Dundee Hills, OR) $60
I got to taste this on my first trip to Oregon wine country last year! The wine brings forth cherry, some smoke and cedar and captures rustic bright red fruit. I love the nose! There's nice acidity on the palate with the rustic, red berry fruit charging through. Once it had some time to open up, aromas of pepper and earthiness came through. Highly recommend giving this one a whirl! Find it HERE.