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Pinot Noir Wine tasting help....


zephyrus
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I was wondering if anyone had some reccomendations for a pinot noir wine tasting i will be doing with some friends. the goal is to have six wines total. two from burgundy, two from oregon, and two from california. if possible i would like to keep the cost of each bottle below 25$. thanks very much,

casey

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In the under $25 range, I am always fond of Saintsbury (the straight Carneros label, not Reserve or Garnet). Burgundies under $25 might be a stretch (for good ones), but the premier crus from Beaune by Jadot are usually reliable for the money (may cost you a little more than $25). Perhaps someone else can suggest values from the Cote de Nuits (a whole thread on Burgundies under $25 might be a great idea... unless it already exists.)

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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Napa Ridge Pinot Noir has been an excellent value in the past, although I haven't had any recent vintages.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

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Gosh... I started to list links of all the Pinots that I like (Robert Sinsky, Patz & Hall, Brian Loring, Gundlach Bundschu), but none of them are under $25! In fact, most of them are over $35!

Sorry...

Edited by Carolyn Tillie (log)
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OK, how about :

Burgundy:

Lafarge Bourgogne Rouge

Bachelet Cotes de Nuits Villages

Bruno Clair Marsannay or Savigny

Gagnard Chassagne "Morgeots" 1er (rouge, obviously)

OR

St Innocent Temperance Hill (might find 7 springs or Freedom hill for $25 if lucky)

Patricia Green 4 Winds

Ponzi

CA:

I agree with the Saintsbury Carneros suggestion. Maybe David Bruce, or someone from Santa Barbara?

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Inexpensive Pinot Noir. I have had the Caporoso (Which is CA I believe) which is solid for a $15-$20 bottle as is O'reilly's Pinot Noir (Which is an OR I believe)

I am not a Pinot expert either but I have been trying to expand my horizon beyond Cabs lately and these two were compatible with my tastes.

Msk

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Castle Rock has two superb offerings in the $12-$15 range... One from Carneros fruit and the other from Russian River fruit... These are both fantastic values in this price range...

Adam

Chef - Food / Wine / Travel Consultant - Writer

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I would suggest making sure that the burgundies come before the california wines. This means either 2 flights of 3 (2 burg + 1 OR, then 1 OR + 2 CA) or 3 flights of 2.

California -- Edmeades is a well-priced, widely available producer I would look for.

Oregon -- the basic Evesham Wood Willamette Valley is relatively cheap and good. I also like the basic bottling from Belle Pente.

Burgundy -- It looks like you live in Texas. IIRC, you cannot ship there from out-of-state, and your local selection is likely to be limited. In that case, my best recommendation is to stick to basic Bourgogne Rouge from very good growers. Look for M. Lafarge, G. Mugneret/Mugneret-Gibourg, Bruno Clavelier, G. Barthod, Denis Bachelet, Fourrier, Coche-Dury, Robert Chevillon, H. Gouges.

--- Lee

Seattle

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I've started a resonse to this post a number of time, but seem to be handcuffed by the $25 price tag. Well, that, and my general "nose-in-the-air" attitude toward CA Pinot. :raz:

But I'll make an attempt anyway.

California - I'd do one from Rusian River and one from somewhere in the broad central coast. Saintsbury is in Carneros, and that's a good suggestion. If you opt for that, then I'd move south and do Sanford or David Bruce. If you go to Russian River, Iron Horse (technically Green Valley, but close enough) or Kenwood's Russian River bottling.

Oregon - A HUGE second to Evesham Wood. You may find St. Innocent on the border of your price range, and I'd look at that as well. Adelsheim will certainly be in range.

Burgundy - You'll find more wines in your price range from the Cotes du Beaune. Look for wines from the villages named Santenay, Volnay, Pommard, Savigny-les-Beaune. You will most certainly find wines in your price range if you move south to the Cote Chalonnaise (villages named Mercurey or Rully). Stick with the major negoicants to stay in your price range. Lee's suggestion of the basic Bourgogne bottlings from top producers will also work for this tasting.

We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

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Castle Rock has two superb offerings in the $12-$15 range... One from Carneros fruit and the other from Russian River fruit... These are both fantastic values in this price range...

Word on the Castle Rock. It's was my Pinot Noir by the glass at Striped Bass for ages and still is at Rouge. You can't find better juice from that area for the price. Anywhere.

If you can find any Vignoble Guillaume Pinot Noir, snap it up. The Guillaume folks are actually far better known as viticulturists/eonologists and basically run a huge nursery selling the clonal vines they develop all over the world. Their work is far reaching and of great importance to the wine world. If you ripped up all the Guillaume clones in Champagne, for example, yields would fall by 80%! The little bit of wine they make is meant to showcase their main product, the vines for sale, and is unbelievably priced at around $10-13 depending upon where you live. Their Chardonnay is delicious as well. It'll be a new by the glass pour here at Rouge in about two weeks. :cool:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Price is definately the trick...

I would second suggestions on David Bruce if you can find it; may not be able to get Santa Cruz Mt designation though; which is very good.

In Santa Barbara area, I think Babcock Pinot's may be a little more reasonable priced; can't remember my tastings very well though... maybe someone else has an idea.

Also Carneros Creek if available at that price...

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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For "good value" California Pinots:

Olivet Lane 2001 Russian River ($20)

La Crema Russian River or Sonoma Coast (both under $25)

Ramspeck 2002 North Coast $17

Acacia Carneros $20

From Oregon:

Ponzi $25

Can't think of many "good value" wines from there....

From France:

Charlopin Fixin $22

Charlopin Marsannay $24

Guyon Vosne-Romanee $20

Guyon Chorey-Les-Beaune $14

Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet 2001 Monthelie $20

Henri Pelle Menetou-Salon Rouge $17

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This is entirely unrelated but Katie's comment about juice brought it to mind...

This year, for the first time in my life, I got to taste the fresh juice from most of the Napa and Sonoma varietals as they were being crushed during harvest: Cabernet, Merlot, Gewurtz, Kleinberger, Zinfanderl, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, Cabernet Frank, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

Without a doubt, the fresh Pinot Noir juice was my favorite. Thinking of my Fantasy Food, if I had a chance to take over the Welch's Grape Juice corporation, I would tell them to give up on Concord grape juice and only sell Pinot juice! It is that good...

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THanks everyone for the replies. Is price that much a factor in the quality of pinots? if so i can spend up to 45$ for two or three of the bottles if it would be beneficial. again, thanks so much for the help.

casey

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LOS mentioned Belle Pente from Oregon. The basic pinot is very good and if you want to go over your budget by $2 you can get their "Murto Vineyard" which is an absolutely fantastic Oregon pinot.

Rodney

Foris Vineyards also makes a delicious Oregon Pinot Noir that is very restrained (compared to CA Pinot Noirs, anyhow), yet juicy and delicious for under $20. A bit more Burgundian in style than the California stuff. Less Pinot Noir flavored Jolly Rancher - more subtlety and elegance. Makes sense as the Oregon climate is likelier closer to that of Burgundy than almost any of the areas in CA where the varietal is grown. Also probably why the cooler microclimate CA Pinots (e.g. Carneros) are commanding higher prices. The grape just doesn't like the heat.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Had wonderful pinot noir at No. 9 Park in Boston last night: a 2000 Cote de Carneros from Napa Valley. Cherry palate. Remarkably spicy finish. Might work.

Liam

Eat it, eat it

If it's gettin' cold, reheat it

Have a big dinner, have a light snack

If you don't like it, you can't send it back

Just eat it -- Weird Al Yankovic

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If your budget increases I would like to get in a word for Carneros Famous Gate Pinot. I'm not sure of the price because a friend brought it to dinner this summer but the 2000 was the most structured pinot I had ever tasted. I think it probably was expensive, knowing my friend. He is the only person I know who lies about how expensive a wine is. If it costs him $80.00 he will tell you he paid $30.00. Then you will think wow that seems like a great buy, then you go to the store and the jokes on you.

Edited by Coop (log)

David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well here is what i have assembled so far, but I am looking to add a couple more bottles from burgundy before the tasting on friday. in all actuality i probabaly dont need more since this is going to be with a bunch of friends of mine, all of whom know even less than i do about wine, oh well. I figured it would be a good idea to purchase wines with very different price points, though i did not go over 40.00 Usd.

California:

Saint Gregory Mendocino 2000 $18.49

Kenwood Russian River Valley 2001 $12.99

Cuvaison Carneros 2001 $24.99

Oregon:

Argyle Willamette 2002 $18.99

Erath Dundee 2001 $15.89

Adea Dean-o's Pinot Willamette 2001 $27.99

Burgundy

Domaine Pierre Gelin Fixin Ier Cru les Hervelets 1999 $40.99

Joseph Drouhin Pommard 2001 $35.99

Thanks,

Casey

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Well here is what i have assembled so far, but I am looking to add a couple more bottles from burgundy before the tasting on friday.  in all actuality i probabaly dont need more since this is going to be with a bunch of friends of mine, all of whom know even less than i do about wine, oh well.  I figured it would be a good idea to purchase wines with very different price points, though i did not go over 40.00 Usd.

California:

Saint Gregory Mendocino 2000  $18.49

Kenwood Russian River Valley 2001 $12.99

Cuvaison Carneros 2001  $24.99

Oregon:

Argyle Willamette 2002  $18.99

Erath Dundee  2001  $15.89

Adea Dean-o's Pinot Willamette 2001  $27.99

Burgundy

Domaine Pierre Gelin Fixin Ier Cru les Hervelets  1999  $40.99

Joseph Drouhin Pommard 2001  $35.99

Thanks,

Casey

Nice lineup! The Argyle is a fave and I'm certain the Fixin and Pommard won't disappoint. It should be interesting to try the Oregon examples next to the Burgundian and then contrast with the California examples. See if my theory regarding the Pacific NW wines being closer to Burgundian in style holds up and let me know, wouldja?

Enjoy!

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Just to add some more variety another option would be to add a southern hemishere pinot.

While I'm from oz I wouldn't pick a oz pinot but rather either New Zealand pinot from say, Martinborough or Otago. Names like Felton Road, Cloudy Bay, Ati Rangi, Neudof etc. are excellent and probably closest to a traditional french pinot from burgundy you can get from down here.

Just a suggestion

Cheers

Episyd

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I would agree with Episyd re: NZ pinots. If you can find it one of my favourites is Isabelle Estate although I am not sure the price will be right although I think that you should eb able to get it sub $25

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