There is a season for everything, this one happens to be made for a delicious Pinot Noir. With the holidays quickly approaching and then gone, the editorial team went searching for three dynamic wines which could be found for under $30. Our search centered on the highly lauded 2009 vintage in Northern California, where the perfect growing conditions and outstanding winemaking led to a slew of incredible wines.
Listed are our top three selections:
Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir 2009 ($17) – Belle Glos is the Pinot-centric creation of Joseph Wagner, son of Chuck Wagner, winemaker and owner of Caymus. A full-bodied, fruit driven wine sourced from multiple vineyards stretching along the California coast starting in Sonoma to Monterey, with a little Santa Barbara for kicks. As you might expect, this is a Cab lover’s Pinot as the lush red fruit flavors fits well with the meticulous use of oak and very supple tannins. 3.0 Stars.
Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir 2009 ($20) – The entry level Calera Pinot Noir first caught our attention with an exclamation from Antonio Galloni of The Wine Advocate as the “single finest value in American Pinot Noir.” High praise that is well deserved, even though we find the Calera to be more French and traditional in styling than a typical Central Coast Pinot. Plenty of earth notes and spice hit the palate full of cranberry and cherries, with excellent acidity and no noticeable oak. Our top choice for Thanksgiving Dinner. 3.5 Stars.
Brewer-Clifton Pinot Noir 2009 ($29) – Unique and soulful, the wines of Greg Brewer and Steve Clifton are perennial favorites at WLM. A blend of four vineyards: Mount Carmel, 3-D, Rio Vista and Zotovich this introduction to Brewer-Clifton is a lovely showcase of Santa Barbara. Using whole cluster fermentation, significant extraction and neutral oak, the wine is simply left alone to shine. Fresh and floral with aromas of strawberries and mint, the palate is significant but not overbearing. Lovely and quite elegant. 3.5 Stars.