Red, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Central Coast, WINE

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Pinot Noir is widely considered to produce some of the finest wines in the world, but is a difficult varietal to cultivate and vinify. The grape's tendency to produce tightly packed clusters makes it susceptible to several viticultural hazards, and the thin-skins and low levels of phenolic compounds result in mostly lightly colored, medium-bodied, low-tannin wines. The tremendously broad range of bouquets, flavors, textures and impressions that Pinot noir can produce lends to its overall popularity but also to its misunderstanding. In the broadest terms, the wine tends to display aromas reminiscent of black and/or red cherry, raspberry and to a lesser extent currant and many other fine small red and black berry fruits. Traditional Pinot Noir is famous for its savory fleshiness and 'farmyard' aromas, but changing fashions, modern winemaking techniques, and new easier-to-grow clones have favored a lighter, more fruit-prominent, cleaner style.

Like many other red varietals, the character of the wine depends heavily on where the grapes are grown and how they are vinified, and these distinctions are largely reflected in a New World/Old World dichotomy. The Burgundy region in France, Pinot Noir's place of origin, is renowned for producing the most complex, ageworthy, and esoteric versions. These can range from dark, brooding, densely tannic wines to light, ethereally elegant wines of intensely perfumed character. Fruit profiles often differ as well, but the common denominator in all Burgundy Pinot Noir is the essence of the place in which it grows, coined as the term terroir. The finest examples, after years of proper aging, display haunting aromas and flavors that defy description using refrences of common reference points. The grape has also found highly unique expression in the vineyards of Germany, where it's known as Spätburgund. From the steep slopes of the Ahr Valley to the rolling, pastorl hills of the Pfalz, the country is producing wines with notably vibrant fruit and deep savory character, but also a rugged edge in which the stamp of terroir is also evident.

New World styles of Pinot Noir also vary in their specifics, but in general they are built on a bright, expressive fruit profile. California has several regions that excel with the varietal, most famously the Sonoma Coast AVA and its sub-AVA Russian River Valley. The wines typically display exuberant red cherry and strawberry notes along with the occasional savory spice elements. While these are cool climates by New World standards, Pinot Noir still achieves more consistent ripeness and more viscosity and body as a result. The AVAs of Santa Barbara County also produce outstanding versions with more concentrated savory profile, while Mendocino County's wines tend toward the dark-fruited, earthy profile. Oregon's Willamette Valley is perhaps the most old school of the New WOrld profiles, where fruit is less pronounced and an herbacious forest floor component imparts a touch of terroir on the wines. Perhaps the most exciting New World Pinot Noir wines are now coming from New Zealand, where the Central Otago and Martinborough regions are producing wines of dark fruit character with essentially cool-climate structure and texture, an intriguing, if non-traditional, combination.

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98 points Jeb Dunnuck: From vines planted in 1990 (from the La Tâche clone), the 2016 Pinot Noir Le Moulin Rouge is another great, great wine from this estate. It’s just loaded with notions of ripe strawberries, vanilla bean, spice, and flowers, and has sensational complexity and nuance. Deep, rich,… ...
JD 98
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Peter Michael Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands Le Moulin Rouge 2016  (#334104)

Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Central Coast, California

98 points Jeb Dunnuck: From vines planted in 1990 (from the La Tâche clone), the 2016 Pinot Noir Le Moulin Rouge is another great, great wine from this estate. It’s just loaded with notions of ripe strawberries, vanilla bean, spice, and flowers, and…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
A brooding and intense wine. The aromas begin with notes of lavender and blackberries, then a myriad of savory spices, and a hint of white sage. Firm, mature tannins—evidence of Ten’s ageability—are followed by a long, velvety finish. Alcohol 14.8%. Not yet reviewed; 2016 vintage rated 96 points by… ...
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Sea Smoke Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills Ten 2017  (#335583)

Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Central Coast, California

A brooding and intense wine. The aromas begin with notes of lavender and blackberries, then a myriad of savory spices, and a hint of white sage. Firm, mature tannins—evidence of Ten’s ageability—are followed by a long, velvety finish. Alcohol 14.8%.…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
Each year, our goal for Southing is to create the ideal marriage of complexity and elegance. The ever-changing nose of the 2017 Southing exhibits baked strawberry, floral scents of rose and violet; and subtle spices. The fine tannins and minerality are enhanced by our estate vineyard’s… ...
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Sea Smoke Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills Southing 2017  (#335582)

Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Central Coast, California

Each year, our goal for Southing is to create the ideal marriage of complexity and elegance. The ever-changing nose of the 2017 Southing exhibits baked strawberry, floral scents of rose and violet; and subtle spices. The fine tannins and minerality…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 6 available
92 points Stephen Tanzer (International Wine Cellar): (made with 50% whole clusters): Bright ruby. Candied red and dark berries and rose pastille on the highly perfumed nose and in the mouth. Shows impressive depth as well as energy, with an emphatic spiciness that builds with air. Closes sweet and… ...
IWC 92
CT 92
WA 91
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Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands Garys' Vineyard 2011  (#332188)

Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Central Coast, California

92 points Stephen Tanzer (International Wine Cellar): (made with 50% whole clusters): Bright ruby. Candied red and dark berries and rose pastille on the highly perfumed nose and in the mouth. Shows impressive depth as well as energy, with an emphatic…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
IWC 92
CT 92
WA 91
92.1 points CellarTracker.com community score. 91 points and 'Very highly recommended,' California Grapevine: Medium-light ruby; attractive, forward, earthy, strawberry and red cherry fruit aroma with floral notes and hints of forest floor and baking spice; medium-full body; rich, somewhat elegant,… ...
CT 92
CGV 91
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Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills 2017  (#334357)

Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Central Coast, California

92.1 points CellarTracker.com community score. 91 points and 'Very highly recommended,' California Grapevine: Medium-light ruby; attractive, forward, earthy, strawberry and red cherry fruit aroma with floral notes and hints of forest floor and baking…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 10 available
96 points Jeb Dunnuck: ...the 2017 Pinot Noir Pisoni Vineyard (70% new French oak) has the most salinity as well as minerality in the lineup. Dusty earth, blackberries, violets, and rose garden-like characteristics all soar from the glass. It’s ethereal and elegant on the palate, yet has the classic… ...
JD 96
WE 96
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Roar Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands Pisoni Vineyard 2017  (#335511)

Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Central Coast, California

96 points Jeb Dunnuck: ...the 2017 Pinot Noir Pisoni Vineyard (70% new French oak) has the most salinity as well as minerality in the lineup. Dusty earth, blackberries, violets, and rose garden-like characteristics all soar from the glass. It’s…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 9 available
92-94 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2016 Pinot Noir is a supple, charming, and elegant expression of this cuvee. Framboise, cherries, flowers and spice emerge from this beautifully defined, elegant Pinot Noir. (8/10/17) ...
JD 92-94
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North Vineyards Pinot Noir Edna Valley 2016  (#333454)

Pinot Noir from Edna Valley, Central Coast, California

92-94 points Jeb Dunnuck: The 2016 Pinot Noir is a supple, charming, and elegant expression of this cuvee. Framboise, cherries, flowers and spice emerge from this beautifully defined, elegant Pinot Noir. (8/10/17)

750ml Bottle | In stock, 3 available
96 points Wine Enthusiast: Deep, intense aromas of black cherry, loamy soil, bay leaf and the slightest hint of smoke show on the nose of this excellent bottling from the Pisoni family. There are plenty of earthy qualities to the tense palate, from sagebrush to slate-driven minerality, but also… ...
WE 96
JD 95
PF 93
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Lucia Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands Soberanes Vineyard 2017  (#334422)

Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Central Coast, California

96 points Wine Enthusiast: Deep, intense aromas of black cherry, loamy soil, bay leaf and the slightest hint of smoke show on the nose of this excellent bottling from the Pisoni family. There are plenty of earthy qualities to the tense palate, from…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 6 available
WE 96
JD 95
PF 93
92 points Josh Raynolds (Vinous): Bright ruby-red. Smoke-tinged dark berry and cherry aromas are complemented by suggestions of cola espresso and candied flowers. Nicely concentrated but lively as well offering sweet red and blue fruit flavors that are energized by building spiciness. Subtle tannins… ...
V 92
JD 91
WE 90
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Siduri Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands 2016  (#335519)

Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Central Coast, California

92 points Josh Raynolds (Vinous): Bright ruby-red. Smoke-tinged dark berry and cherry aromas are complemented by suggestions of cola espresso and candied flowers. Nicely concentrated but lively as well offering sweet red and blue fruit flavors that…

1.5L Magnum | In stock, 2 available
$64.95
$78.00
Save $13.05 (17%)78.00
Save $13.05 (17%)
91 points Wine Enthusiast: This appellation blend is plummy on the nose, with additional aromas of wet campfire, elegant violets and turned earth. There is great energy on the palate, with flavors of tart pomegranate and snappy raspberry, as well as layers of peppercorn, dried marjoram and thyme.… ...
WE 91
WS 90
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Sanford Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills 2014  (#333806)

Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Central Coast, California

91 points Wine Enthusiast: This appellation blend is plummy on the nose, with additional aromas of wet campfire, elegant violets and turned earth. There is great energy on the palate, with flavors of tart pomegranate and snappy raspberry, as well as…

1.5L Magnum | In stock, 1 available
$59.95
$70.00
Save $10.05 (14%)70.00
Save $10.05 (14%)
92 points Wine Spectator: Exhibiting a fresh, lively mix of raspberry and blueberry notes, this is well-structured, with snappy tannins and a lingering aftertaste that shows a touch of loam. Drink now through 2021. 163 cases made. (3/31/14) ...
WS 92
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Three Sticks Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills The James 2011  (#332272)

Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Central Coast, California

92 points Wine Spectator: Exhibiting a fresh, lively mix of raspberry and blueberry notes, this is well-structured, with snappy tannins and a lingering aftertaste that shows a touch of loam. Drink now through 2021. 163 cases made. (3/31/14)

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
91 points Connoisseurs' Guide: Near subliminal notes of dried herbs and flowers sit ever so quietly to the side of ripe cherries and sweet oak in this nicely focused offering's solidly varietal, moderately deep aromas, and, the carefully composed flavors that follow are similarly centered on… ...
CG 91
AM 90
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Three Sticks Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley Bien Nacido Vineyard 2014  (#332278)

Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California

91 points Connoisseurs' Guide: Near subliminal notes of dried herbs and flowers sit ever so quietly to the side of ripe cherries and sweet oak in this nicely focused offering's solidly varietal, moderately deep aromas, and, the carefully composed…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 3 available
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