Even those who usually prefer crisp white wines over full-bodied reds will have trouble saying no to a cheeky glass of Pinot Noir. Like all chameleons, the Pinot grape will take on the terroir of its surroundings, displaying flavors, textures, and perfumes unique to its region. But while its profile is variable, all good Pinot Noirs share the same elegant, refined display, graceful palate, and beautiful finish. Delicious paired with food but equally drinkable enjoyed alone, it's a very worthy addition to every wine enthusiast's drinks cabinet. If you're ready to transform your drinking experience with this very special variety, here are 20 of the best Pinot Noir varieties to fill your glass with in 2022.
20. Hyland Old Vine Single Vineyard Pinot Noir
Hyland has meticulously blended multiple Pinot Noir clones for their 2015 Old Vine Single Vineyard Pinot Noir, and their efforts haven't gone to waste. Lush, richly textured, and crammed with juicy bursts of jammy spiced plum and stewed cherries, it's a delight on the palate, with the cocoa laced tannins only adding to the decadent appeal. Although already very drinkable at this stage, it can continue to be enjoyed for the next decade. Bring out its deep layers with aged cheese or meaty stews. It also pairs exceptionally well with tomato-based pasta dishes.
19. Ankida Ridge Vineyards Pinot Noir
With a soft nose of cherry and soil, a silky-smooth mouthfeel, a hint of minerality, and a lively dash of acidity, the Ankida Ridge Vineyards Pinot Noir is a wine to be lingered over, no matter how tempting it is to gulp it down as quickly as possible. As vinepair.com says, the aromas and the texture are in such perfect harmony, you’ll understand what balance in a wine inherently means from the first sip. Wonderful enjoyed alone, it also pairs beautifully with a meaty ragu or cheeseboard.
18. Cono Sur Chile Bicicleta Pinot Noir Reserva
You'd don't have to spend a fortune to get a decent Pinot. The very gulpable 2012 vintage of Cono Sur Chile Bicicleta Pinot Noir Reserva might be a bargain at just $11, but it has all the hallmarks you'd expect from a wine at least three or four times the price. Expect well-structured tannins, an easy-going, supple texture, and a fine balancing act of juicy black fruits and lively acidity. Pair with sweet and smoky BBQ pork.
17. Maysara Jamsheed Pinot Noir
Hailing from the foothills of Oregon's Coast Range in Yamhill County, Maysara has fast developed a reputation for producing some of the state's most elegant, refined offerings. Their 2012 Jamsheed Pinot is typically delightful. It opens with a vague suggestion of wet stone and blackberry coulis before developing into a rich bouquet of earthy black truffle notes, Pot Pourri, and blackcurrant. A tart cherry and tobacco finish round things off to perfection.
16. RAEN Fort Ross-Seaview Pinot Noir
If you've been lucky enough to enjoy a meal at a Michelin star restaurant, you'll probably have noticed a bottle or two of RAEN’s Sea Field wine on the drinks menu. A perennial favorite with sommeliers at the world's swankiest dining rooms, the winery offers several exquisite offerings, with the Fort Ross-Seaview Pinot Noir ranking as one of the most elegant. After opening with a refined flourish of crushed ripe raspberries and orange pith, it explodes into a vibrant palate of jammy black fruits and ripe berries. Aromas of violets, rose petals, and dried herbs give way to a long, rounded finish.
15. Bergström Gregory Ranch Pinot Noir
When it comes to making a noteworthy Pinot Noir, soil and climate are crucial. Gregory Ranch's 26-acre estate in the hills of Oregon's Yamhill-Carlton AV has exactly what it takes to make a world-class tipple: course-grained, quick-draining soil and a cool temperature to ensure a complete and evening ripening of the grapes. The Bergström Gregory Ranch Pinot Noir is a particularly fine example of the estate's offering, with juicy notes of red currant, black raspberry and blackberry, a background of allspice and smoke, deliciously silky tannins, and a long, mineral finish.
14. Laetitia Estate Pinot Noir
A steal at just $17, this bright, tasty pinot from the Laetitia Estate on California’s Central Coast is meticulously crafted and richly textured, with a sumptuous nose of dried berry, smoke and soil and an enticing palate of cinnamon, cardamom, and red cherry. A burst of bright acidy and elegant tannins makes the wine beautifully drinkable, but you can continue to enjoy it all the way up to 2028.
13. Kosta Browne Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Liquor.com describes Kosta Browne as one of the "treasured producers of exceptional, unabashedly California-style Pinot Noirs." Take a sip of the Kosta Browne Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir and you'll soon see why. The grapes have been sourced from Central Coast’s Sta. Rita Hill, a region of Santa Barbara known for producing some of the best wines in the US. Fresh, bouncy, and full of energy, this lively little number offers up a perfume of cranberry, tart black cherry, and wild strawberry together with notes of blood orange and ripe berry. The tannins are silky but still grip the inside of the mouth enough to support a long, smooth finish. Bring out its flavor by pairing it with charcuterie or semi-soft cheeses like Gruyère, Comté, Emmenthal and Gouda.
12. Storm Vrede Pinot Noir
If you're looking for a decent wine in the $40 - $50 price range, the Storm Vrede Pinot Noir is well worth checking out. A richly textured, beautifully balanced Pinot with a herbal, slightly earthy nose and a bright, decadent palate of ripe red cherry, plum, wild strawberry and raspberry, it offers a thoroughly enjoyable drinking experience. The 2015 vintage is particularly good right now, but will continue to mature up until 2028. Pair with a rich, meaty stew like beef bourguignon.
11. Benjamin Leroux Gevrey-Chambertin
If you're splashing out on a special occasion, the Benjamin Leroux Gevrey-Chambertin makes an excellent choice. Priced at around $84, it's not as cheap as some of the other Pinots on our list, but its rich, full-bodied flavor profile and heady aromas are worth every penny. Created by Benjamin Leroux, the renowned former régisseur of Domaine du Comte Armand in Pommard who now operates his own négociant business in Beaune, the wine's intriguing textures and heavenly notes of dried strawberries, cedar, and smoke are undercut with enough elegant tannins and lively acidity to ensure a sensational mouthfeel. Enjoy it with pungent washed-rind cheeses like Epoisses, Taleggio and Reblochon.
10. Yering Station Village Pinot Noir
Yarra Valleys Yering Station is the oldest vineyard in Victoria, with a history that dates back to 1838. In 1996, it was acquired by the Rathbone family, who've added to its legacy by combining innovative processes with the same old world techniques that have always given the winery such a fearsome reputation. Its reds are known for their distinct aromas and taste, something that comes courtesy of its diverse microclimates. The Yering Station Village Pinot Noir is a particularly smooth, fruity example, with enticing aromas of black and red cherry, rich soil, and a splash of fiery pepper. Expect a palate of vanilla, red fruit and cedar with smooth tannins for a silky finish.
9. Patrice Rion Nuits-St-Georges Clos Saint-Marc Premier Cru
It might be priced at an eye watering $130, but the Patrice Rion Nuits-St-Georges Clos Saint-Marc Premier Cru is a serious wine that deserves every dollar of its serious price tag. Meticulously crafted by Patrice Rion from grapes grown in his acclaimed vineyards in Nuits-St-Georges, the wine opens with earthy notes of black truffle and wild cherry before exploding mid-palate into a bouquet of juicy cherry and black raspberry. Grippy tannins, a blast of minerality, and a long finish round of the exquisite driving experience.
8. Long Meadow Ranch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
Described by vinepair.com as having a palate soft enough to make you want to chew on it, the deliciously smooth Long Meadow Ranch Anderson Valley Pinot Noir combines a light perfume of cinnamon and cherry cola with dry, silky tannins, mellow notes of ripe raspberry fruit and enough brisk acidity to balance out the sweetness and create a wonderfully pleasing drinking experience. Pair with turkey or chicken.
7. Jean-Claude Boisset Bourgogne Pinot Noir Les Ursulines
It might be priced at under $20, but this dark, richly textured delight could easily pass for a wine worth double the price. Sourced from the Boisset's family's vines in the Cote de Nuits, the Jean-Claude Boisset Bourgogne Pinot Noir Les Ursulines has a delectable palate of black cherries and ripe plum, with a hint of toasty oak and fine tannins to cut through the sweetness of the fruit and create a mouthwateringly long, silky finish. Enjoy a glass with grilled pork or bacon.
6. Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir
If you want to skip the Old World and see what the New World has to offer instead, you might want to take the advice of liquor.com and dip your toes into Oregon's wine market. The winemaking industry in the state might still be in its early days, but considering Oregon shares a similar climate and latitude to Burgundy in France (home to some of the greatest reds in the world), it's perfectly placed to start making waves. The Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir is a particularly fine example from the region - which, considering the Drouhin family started their wine-making adventures four generations back in Burgundy and use the same distillery traditions today, is understandable. Expect a palate of black cherry, rhubarb, and bramble with just the right balance of acidity.
5. Giant Steps Pinot Noir Yarra Valley
Australia might have a reputation for being hot from one end of the year to the next, but not all of its regions are sizzling. Located east of Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is relatively mild, with a climate just a touch warmer than France's Burgundy but cooler than Bordeaux.The result? Elegant Pinots like this stunning wine from Giant Steps. A full-bodied tipple with generous notes of dark, ripe fruits, cherry cola and sage, it's a must-try for anyone keen to bring themselves up to speed on Australia's impressive wine offerings. The rich red fruit flavor and earthy aromas pair perfectly with quail, turkey, goose, duck, game hen, and partridge.
4. Johan Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir
Oregon's Willamette Valley is rapidly developing a reputation as the new Burgundy - considering the strength of wines like Johan Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir, it's little wonder. Hailing from Johan’s certified-biodynamic estate vineyard, the wine announces its presence with a big hit of vanilla and cherry, swiftly followed by a bright burst of citrus zest. Mouthwatering aromas of cinnamon and gingerbread, silky tannins, and a shot of lively acidity round out the drinking experience.
3. Bread & Butter Pinot Noir
You don't have to spend a fortune to bring home a decent bottle of Pinot Noir. Recommended as one of the best Pinot Noir's under $20 by wikiliq.org, Bread & Butter Pinot Noir is an easy-going, approachable wine with generous fruity notes of cherries, mixed berries, and red plum. Nutty, savory notes of cedar, smoke, and bay leaf cut through the sweetness of the fruit, creating a perfectly balanced palate with a long, exquisitely smooth finish. Try it with grilled seafood or mushroom risotto.
2. Gary Farrell Russian River Pinot Noir
If you're looking for an elegant Pinot Noir from California, look no further than this exquisite example from Gary Farrell Vineyards. Made by blending grapes from different vineyards and different climates, it's a wonderfully balanced, precisely layered red blessed with vivid aromas of brown spices, cola, and cinnamon, along with hints of cherry, clove, grapefruit zest, and blood orange. Gentle but grippy tannins and a splash of crisp acidity round out the long, silky finish.
1. Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir
If you've got $75 going spare, you might want to put it to good use by taking the advice of townandcountrymag.com and investing in a bottle of Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir. The 2018 vintage is exceptionally good, with a full-bodied complexity and excellent concentration. Expect a crowd-pleasing palate of red cherry, orange zest, and smokey black tea notes with just the right hit of acidity to keep things balanced.
Written by Lily Wordsmith
Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith