Top Pinot picks
Our 7 favorite Pinot Noirs under 14 percent alcohol that pass the light-body test
Pinot Noir labels to look for
Lately, Pinot Noir impersonators have been creeping onto the dinner tables of innocent wine lovers everywhere. What's worse? The real thing can be harder to find than you think.
A real Pinot Noir is light-bodied, delicate, and a silky mouthful of warm spices, flowers, savory herbs, loam, and leather—not just fruit.
To steer you in the right direction, here are our top honest Pinot Noir picks.
Willamette Valley Vineyards 2008 Pinot Noir
Cinnamon-spiced red plums with a hit of black pepper on a long finish. (Willamette Valley; $28; 13% alc.)
Saintsbury 2009 “Garnet” Pinot Noir
Earthy smoke, leather, mushroom; spicy strawberry, rhubarb, and cola. (Carneros; $20; 13.5% alc.)
Au Bon Climat 2007 “La Bauge Au-dessus” Pinot Noir
Tobacco, leather, earth, violets, and foresty fruit. (Santa Maria Valley; $30; 13.5% alc.)
Fogdog 2007 Pinot Noir by Freestone
Bright berries and cherries dusted with chocolate. (Sonoma Coast; $35; 13.5% alc.)
Domaine Drouhin 2007 Pinot Noir
Leafy herbs, loam, leather, rhubarb, and Chinese five spice. (Willamette Valley; $40; 13.9% alc.)
A to Z 2008 Pinot Noir
Light cedar and spice plus a range of red fruit, from berry and cherry to rhubarb and cranberry. (Oregon; $20; 13% alc.)
Anne Amie 2007 Pinot Noir
Red berries layered with coriander, orange zest, pepper, and dusty leather. (Willamette Valley; $35; 13.6% alc.)