Around the globe, Pinot Noir tastes the same – but different.
By Roger Morris
Pinot Noir is wonderful in being the same but different at the same time – almost always instantly recognizable but often with huge differences in tastes and texture.
This issue of The Dozen is all Pinot – from seven different countries, 12 different regions, five different vintages and goodness knows how many different clones. Prices range from $18 to $75, and there is even a bubbly in the lineup.
NV Ferghettina “Eronero” Franciacorta Rosé Brut ($35). 100% Pinot – light cherry and cake-icing flavors, good bubble intensity, great minerality, mildly assertive and very refreshing.
2019 Falernia Valle de Elqui Reserva Pinot Noir ($18). Crisp, fragrant, elegant, with cherry and spicy flavors.
2020 Prosper Maufaux Hautes-Côtes de Beaune Rouge ($26). Flavorful fruit with an almost “whizzy,” tangy finish.
2020 Albert Bichot Bourgogne “Vieilles Vignes” Pinot Noir ($27). Some potato bin aromas, though pleasant ones, that are repeated, underlying the fresh cherries, on the palate, with a hint of greenness and a lean finish.
2018 Paul O’Brien Umpqua Valley Pinot Noir ($32). Mix of fresh black cherries and savory dried herbs and earthiness – full-bodied but lively.
2019 Yerling Station Yarra Valley Pinot Noir ($34). Lean and long with exotic fruitiness, some baking spices and nice tannins.
2020 Franz Haas Alto Adige Pinot Nero ($40). On the light side with tangy cherry fruit and a lovely, long finish that cuts through the dusty tannins.
2016 Marchesi Pancrazi “Villa di Bagnolo” Toscano Pinot Nero ($46). Very good food wine – mature but not overripe cherry fruit with some savory, earthy notes and barrel flavors.
2021 Hamilton Russell Hemel-en-Aarde Valley Pinot Noir ($48). From South Africa, it begins with light fruitiness that segues into a crisp, quite gamey, lightly tannic finish.
2019 Pegasus Bary North Canterbury Pinot Noir ($51). Very flavorful fresh cherries, a little tangy – and could be a little crisper with the finish.
2021 En Route “Les Pommiers” Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($56). Very nice, with good cherry juiciness, hints of cream, slightly spicy, crisp finish – fresh but with substance.
2020 FEL “Savoy Vineyard” Anderson Valley Pinot Noir ($75). Ripe black raspberries and cherries with bright acidity, medium weight, freshness and long on the palate.
Prices listed are generally SRP or from wine-searcher.com. As more wineries are now shipping direct-to-consumer, check the winery website if you can’t find a bottle in your retail store.