People are sometimes perplexed by pinot noir because of the notoriously fussy quality of the wine, which has earned it the nickname “problem child” in the wine industry. The Pinot Noir grape is notoriously complex and difficult to cultivate properly because of its delicate nature, thin skin, propensity to split, and susceptibility to sunlight. Because Pinot noir grapes are indeed an early-budding variety, they are vulnerable to late-season ice and freezing temperatures. This means that the grapes do not always make it through the entire harvest season. But damn, when they do… a pint of pinot noir that is just the right amount of oak, acidity, and tannin has had this way of remaining with you.
However, there are many new regions starting to emerge that are also producing outstanding pinot noirs, such as New Zealand and the Central Coast of California. Pinot noir actually has a relatively mixed global footprint but also tends to grow best in regions with long and cool growing seasons, such as Oregon’s Willamette Valley, California’s Sonoma County, as well as France’s Burgundy region. There are many critical distinctions between pinot noir made in the Old World style (in Europe) and pinot noir made in the New World style (made from grapes cultivated in the United States, South Africa, New Zealand, and other places), but for the purpose of this article, we will only discuss New World-style pinot noir.
The pinot noir selections that follow are among our very own top choices; and before you ask, one of those wines does, in fact, come packaged in a can. We’re not ashamed to admit it. We have selected eight outstanding examples of pinot noir that are sure to win you over to the world of red wines.
Bread & Butter 2016 Pinot Noir – $10.99
This Bread & Butter Pinot Noir seems to be the perfect wine for you if you have a passion for whisky. The aftertaste is startlingly comparable to the aftertaste of a nicely aged whisky or even an allspice cigar (remember those?).
The first taste provides a wave of luscious black cherries, however, what stays is a hint of cedar, charcoal, and tobacco. This seductive pinot noir is wonderfully well-balanced and silky smooth; it almost has a ghostly quality to it because of how delicious it is.
Hahn Winery Monterey Pinot Noir 2016 – $14
This pinot noir from the 2016 vintage that was created by Hahn Family Wines simply kind of rocks and is a great example of the high-quality wines that are being produced in the Monterey County region of California, which has a cool climate. There is a perfect harmony between the fruitiness of dark berries and the dry minerality and earthiness of the soil in this wine.
This particular area of Monterey County’s Arroyo Seco sits on a gravelly as well as windy simple at the big toe of the Santa Lucia Highlands, and we swear that we can smell that subtle chalky flavor churned up by the soot in each and every sip. The Santa Lucia Hillsides are located in the southwestern part of the United States.
Smoke Tree 2016 Pinot Noir – $25.00
The crimson fruits really shine through in this pinot noir from Sonoma County. This pinot noir really fruity and fresh, but it still has an earthy quality to it. It has luscious aromas of plum, darkish cherry, and raspberry, along with just a trace of nutmeg with black pepper.
This pinot noir has a pleasant and well-balanced acidity, which makes it an excellent food-friendly wine. This is especially true when you mix it with richer meals like glazed pig belly, lamb chops, and spicy charcuterie.
Bonterra 2016 Organic Pinot Noir – $17.99
This pinot noir by Bonterra was organically farmed in Mendocino County, California, and it contains flavors of raspberry, strawberry, and plum balanced out by traces of vanilla and toasty baking spices.
We adore the organic farming principles to which Bonterra is dedicated, as their comprehensive approach contributes to the preservation of the natural ecosystem that the vineyards and their surroundings provide for the local birds, bees, and other forms of local wildlife.
This pinot noir is not only well-balanced and luscious, but it is also a wine that you can taste while having a genuine sense of well-being.
Meiomi Pinot Noir – $25.00
This highly common pinot noir is made from grapes grown in Monterey, Sonoma, & Santa Barbara, all of which are located along the coast of California, and it embodies the finest qualities that each of these three very distinct areas contributes to the winemaking process.
At this price point, this is among the most dynamic and complex pinot noir wines one can buy. It has a good balance of fruit and spice.
Westmount Wines 2015 Pinot Noir – $20.99
This bottle, which is silky, well-balanced, and overflowing with such a lush berry ripeness, was a little difficult for us to share with others because it was so delicious.
In spite of the fact that it may be enjoyed on its own without food, the full potential of this pinot noir is brought out when it is served alongside a meaty burger.
Catalina Sounds Pinot Noir – $24.99
This pinot noir comes from New Zealand’s Waihopai Valley, which is quickly becoming one of the most popular wine-producing regions in the world.
It has a silky, supple, and earthy coolness that instantly grabbed us and left us wanting another drink.
To properly appreciate the velvety texture of this wine and the delicate herbal undertones, we recommend serving it just slightly chilled.
The Best Pinot Noir Regions To Know For All The Pinot Lovers
1) Burgundy, which is both our favorite and, in our opinion, the best region for Pinot Noir wine.
2) If you are in Napa, take a day trip to the Russian River Valley in Sonoma; there, you will have the opportunity to do some excellent tours and wine tastings.
3) Willamette Valley, in the state of Oregon; is the most famous region for Pinot Noir outside of California. The climate and landscape of Burgundy are strikingly analogous to those of the Willamette Valley.
4) Carneros, located in Napa, is the section of Napa Valley with the lowest average temperatures and is the source of some of our favorite Pinot Noir.
5) Sta Rita Hills, California – as was mentioned previously, this is such a unique place due to how close it is to the equator, yet it is still created with high-quality geographical features.
Germany, New Zealand, and Argentina were recognized as deserving of honorable mention as top-tier regions.
The Real Quick Facts To Know About Best Pinot Noir Under $30
- The only difference between Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, or Pinot Grigio is the color of the grape that is used to make the wine. If you appreciate one, it’s likely that you’ll also like the others.
- Chardonnay grapes are cultivated in the same region as Pinot Noir grapes. The same region that produces some of our favorite Pinot Noirs also produces some of our favorite Chardonnays. (it is important to remember that we are not discussing the large buttery and creamy California Chardonnays that are cultivated in warm climes)
- *August 18 is Pinot Noir Day, as designated by law.
- We’ve sampled quite a few wines, but a Pinot Noir of Burgundy was, without a doubt, the best wine I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting in my whole life. (Unfortunately, it was over $30, and as a result, it did not qualify for inclusion on this list.)
The Final Thoughts
It is possible to feel completely overwhelmed by all of the available options while searching for a vintage Pinot Noir from California. It is one of the red grapes with the highest acreage in California since it has found a place in much of the state, from places on the Central Coast up to Sonoma, Mendocino, as well as the Anderson Valley in the north. Thus, these traits make it one of the drunkest, most popular users’ choices in the region.
As a natural consequence of the product’s extensive availability, a variety of price points & quality levels have emerged. However, due to its reputation for being a fussy grape on the vineyard, high-quality Pinot Noir is not always available at an affordable price. Despite the fact that prices for many of the greatest bottlings frequently skyrocket to at least $50, delectable outliers can be discovered.
FAQs – People Also Ask
Which one is the most widely known red wine produced in Italy?
As was said before, some of the most well-known examples of Italian red wine include Barolo, which is produced using the Nebbiolo grape, Chianti, which is produced using the Sangiovese grape, and wines produced using the Montepulciano vine.
Which Italian white wines have won the most of the hearts of wine lovers?
Pinot Grigio is among the most widely consumed white wines in Italy, despite the fact that the country produces a wide variety of popular white wines. This type of white grape is mostly grown in the Veneto area in the northeastern corner of Italy. Apple and citrus fruit aromas are typically present in these wines, which are typically unoaked. Pinot Grigio wines have a reputation for being dry and having a light body. The Cortese, Garganega, Verdicchio, and Fiano grape types are a few more that are quite popular.
Which one of the Italian sparkling wines is the best in the collection?
Even while Prosecco is most certainly the most well-known sparkling wine produced in Italy, there are a wide variety of other Italian fortified wines to taste, such as Moscato or Muscat.