15% Off California Pinot Noir (5/15/12)

Having roast chicken for dinner? Or salmon? Or grilled pork? No problem: a well-made California Pinot Noir tastes great with almost anything you can throw at it.

Want to try something completely new, with flavors and aromas you’ve never, ever encountered in a wine glass? There’s a California Pinot Noir for that, too! Head to the sale or check out today’s top deals below.

Top Deals From Today’s Sale:

Coturri Pinot Noir, Lost Creek - 2002
Coturri Pinot Noir, Lost Creek – 2002 (Staff Pick)
The wine in this bottle is unlike any Pinot Noir you’ve ever tasted. The Coturri family are steadfast practitioners of non-interventionist winemaking in a region where this is far from the norm. Sweet baking spice dominates due to the wine’s oxidative aging, but there is also some strawberry, dried flowers, and barnyard funk. This is a rather full-bodied wine, and thankfully its acidity has not faded over the years. EXPECT SIGNIFICANT BOTTLE VARIATION. Dropped fruit and volatile acidity are not uncommon. Expect a cloudy wine with rather copious sediment, something like a well-aged vintage port. Each bottle is a unique experience, so expect the unexpected. Always interesting, usually beautiful, and sometimes stunning, enjoy this with pan-roasted quail or duck magret… if you dare. – DM


Johnson Family Pinot Noir, Carneros - 2009
Johnson Family Pinot Noir, Carneros – 2009
Dark fruits, ripe cherries, spice notes, minerals and a nice medium body makes this a solid Pinot Noir from the New World. Duck with a cherry sauce would make a nice accompaniment.


Nalle "Hopkins Ranch" Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley - 2009
Nalle “Hopkins Ranch” Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley – 2009
Single vineyard, new world pinot
Hey Pinot-heads! Check out this delicate, bright Russian River pinot noir. Seductive and supple, the soft tannins yield to lush fruit characteristics exemplified by the red cherry, berry notes that caress the roof of your mouth. Restrained and elegant, it finishes firm and strong across your tongue. Try it with simple roast chicken with fresh herbs and garlic or by itself; this classy wine shines next to (almost) anything. Cheers. -PS


Au Bon Climat "Sierra Madre Vineyards" Pinot Noir - 2007
Au Bon Climat “Sierra Madre Vineyards” Pinot Noir – 2007
If I had to pick one kind of wine to drink for the rest of my life, it would be Pinot Noir. Drinking a great bottle of Pinot is truly a special occasion. The holidays, too, are special times, moments to rejoice with loved ones and enjoy great food and wine. Luckily for us, Jim Clendenen has dedicated the last few decades of his life to producing seriously good Pinot Noir. This wine is sourced entirely from the Sierra Madre Vineyard, and if you can get your nose away from the incredibly beautiful aromatics, you’ll happily find out that the wine tastes just as good. The wine shows great depth with flavors of wild berries, ripe raspberries, cherries, and licorice, while maintaining the finesse and elegance that makes this varietal so special. Dangerously enjoyable, add this wine to the list of memorable moments this holiday season. -NAB


Cartlidge & Browne Pinot Noir - 2010
Cartlidge & Browne Pinot Noir – 2010
Vigorous and full-flavored, this berry-driven Pinot blends aromas of cherry cobbler with spice cake and toffee. A great companion to meals with fall flavors, such as turkey or roast Brussels sprouts with bacon.

Pinot Noir 101:

This beloved region boasts a seemingly endless list of acclaimed AVAs (American Viticultural Areas), including the Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and Alexander Valley. The Russian River Valley is a particular favorite of ours for its cool climate, which produces elegant, more Burgundian Pinot Noirs. Try this bottle from Norton Ridge to taste just how well-balanced a California Pinot Noir can be.

Also known as “Los Carneros” (“the rams”), this region stretches across the southern portions of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. It is especially well suited to Pinot Noir cultivation because its cool climate allows the grapes to develop the acidity they need. Our #2 wine of the week is a dark, spicy, well-mineraled Carneros Pinot Noir.

Santa Barbara
Some feel that Santa Barbara’s cool, foggy coastal vineyards are the perfect place to grow extremely high-quality Pinot Noir. If you want to weigh in on this debate – or just taste something amazing – try the “Sierra Madre” from Au Bon Climat. This is Santa Barbara Pinot Noir at its finest: subtle, sophisticated, and complex.

A sprawling and climatically diverse region, Mendocino produces everything from gulpable palate-pleasing wines to complex critical darlings. For an example of the latter, try the Lost Creek Pinot Noir, a masterful piece of natural, non-interventionist winemaking from Tony Coturri. This wine is earthy, funky, possibly cloudy, and not for the faint of heart. It’s also our #1 wine of the week.

…And those are just our favorites! Incredible Pinot Noir comes from all over California, and this is only a partial list of Pinot-producing regions. To find a great bottle on sale today, pick one from our Top 11 list, or come ask our friendly sales staff to show you something delicious