Cool, Collected Pinot Noir

Thin-skinned isn’t a bad thing

 

Superstar of Burgundy, Pinot Noir’s delicate qualities also lead to some of the most sophisticated grapes. Pinot Noir is a difficult varietal to grow because of its notoriously thin skin, which makes it delicate and susceptible to compromises in climate and terroir. It inherently demands great skill and attention in both growing and winemaking. Cool weather keeps it from ripening too fast, and low-intervention methods brings out the elegant evidence of terroir it holds so well.

For those worthy terroirs and skilled hand, this grape sings! Pinot Noir is endlessly expressive: sometimes juicy and floral, sometimes leathery and mushroomy, always a beautiful choice to have at the table.

Read on for our staff’s picks of the coolest Pinot Noirs to warm up those crisp, autumn evenings.

Aloxe-Corton “Le Suchot”, Simon Bize $71.99

Here is a chance to sip Pinot Noir when it’s truly in its element. It broods with dark red fruit and a wild forest-floor quality that’s difficult to put a finger on. That elusive profile kept me coming back for more where, on each taste, another layer was revealed. – Josh Mizrahi, Wine & Spirits Consultant

Beaune 1er Cru “Les Teurons”, Michel & Marc Rossignol $44.96

The Rossignol family has prime vineyards in the heart of Volnay in Burgundy. This gorgeous, classic Pinot Noir show elegant red fruit notes and a touch of spice. – Laura Atbashian, Wine Buyer

Montinore “Plumlee Road” Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley $39.96

This cuvee from Montinore’s Plumlee Road vineyard was made exclusively for us and we couldn’t be happier with the result—a lush decadent wine with lots of black cherries and hearty oak. It’s well balanced and delicious now, but grab an extra bottle to put away for a few years. – Erik Guzinski, Wine & Spirits Consultant

Montsecano “Refugio” Pinot Noir $24.96

Take a walk on the wild side with this natural Pinot Noir from Chile. Those with an adventurous palate will be delighted by the earthy, musky, red-fruit flavors. – Laura Atbashian, Wine Buyer

Au Bon Climat “Bien Nacido” Pinot Noir $45.96

Winemaker Jim Clendenen has been making incredible wines under his “Au Bon Climat” label in California since 1982. This seductive Pinot Noir shows vibrant American-style fruit, alongside smoky, gamey flavors. – Laura Atbashian, Wine Buyer

Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru “Les Combottes,” Georges Lignier $109.96

Pinot Noir is a finicky, difficult grape to grow, and Burgundy has just the right terroir to make it shine. This elegant wine comes from the Premier Cru vineyard “Les Combottes” and is characterized by aromas of rose hips and violets and flavors of black cherry. – Laura Atbashian, Wine Buyer

Cheverny Rouge, “La Pierre aux Chiens,” Venier $33.96

This charming, medium-bodied Pinot from Loire is well deserving of your attention. Cool fruit and stoney texture, it exudes elegance and finesse. – Sam Sundius, Wine & Spirits Consultant