With the onset of fall and heavy rain in the Willamette Valley, I’ve been lying low, tasting as many wines as I can to find the right new Pinots to recommend for you. Here are three new Pinots I’m very excited about:
A fresh, delicious value:
Walnut Hill Pinot noir 2011
$18.85 in any 12 bottle order or
Build a Case($20.95 retail)
Exceptional value, drinking beautifully! I was blown away at how good this is and when I poured it for Andy and told him the price, his eyes popped right out into his Pinot glass. Lush and silky, melding dark rich cherry and a ribbon of sweet black fruit, with hints of savory mint and violet on the finish. This brand new label is from our friends at Toluca Lane, from a beautiful little block of 20 year-old Pommard down the hill from their estate vineyard.
Darth Vader! A dark, cellar-worthy standout:
Brittan Gestalt 2010
$49.45 in any 12 bottle order or Build a Case ($59.95 retail)
This stunning, dark Pinot noir always reminds me of Darth Vader: imposing and powerful, its dark-heart will be loved in the end. Seriously, if you’re collecting 2010s like you should be, here’s a must-have. Sappy, concentrated black raspberry is balanced by juicy acidity. This really starts to open up on day two, offering more crunchy black fruits, peppered steak, and grilled herb notes. Avalon introduced you to Brittan Pinot noirs just a few vintages ago – now they’ve exploded onto the international Pinot noir scene and we couldn’t be happier.
An under-priced, old vine beauty:
Whistling Dog Heritage Blocks 09
$23.35 in any 12 bottle order or Build a Case
Forward and expressive, this is packed with rich cherry and dark berry flavors, accented by cinnamon and nicely integrated barrel spice. A combo of 18 months aging before bottling and the robust 2009 vintage means it’s ready for your glass. Most wineries, rightfully, ask big bucks for their old vine Pinots. Not Whistling Dog! This tiny 4-barrel lot comes from their dry-farmed, 30 year-old block of Heritage clones (Pommard and Wadenswil). One of the very few sub-$30 Pinots selected for our Reserve Pinot Noir Wine Club.
Author: Marcus Looze