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Friday, October 19, 2012

Five Favorites - Fantastic Pinot Noir Under $20

The Best Pinot Noir Under $20 (Or Close To It)

"What's your favorite Pinot Noir under $20?" It's a question I get asked a lot, and it's with good reason because great Pinot Noir under $20 is hard to find! Don't despair; however, it's out there, it just takes a little work. It's also a timely topic with Thanksgiving and Christmas fast approaching because Pinot Noir is a great match for your holiday meals. So today I give you five excellent choices that are all (almost) under $20. Here are my top picks, covering California, Oregon and New Zealand, in no particular order:

Five Favorites - Fantastic Pinot Noir Under $20. Dashwood Pinot Noir 2009 - Hunt For The Best Pinot Noir Under $20
New Zealand knows Pinots
2009 Dashwood Marlborough Pinot Noir
Available for as little as $11. From Marlborough, New Zealand.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

You may not immediately associate New Zealand with Pinot Noir, but you should. In fact, the total acreage of Pinot Noir in New Zealand is slightly ahead of the total Pinot Noir acreage in Oregon. New Zealand wineries are doing some amazing things with Pinot Noir and the Dashwood is one reliable example in our price range. Juicy red and black cherry and a nice layer of spice that carries all the way through to the finish makes for an easy sipper and a great wine. Pull this one out at your next party to introduce your friends to the wonders of New Zealand Pinot Noir.


Five Favorites - Fantastic Pinot Noir Under $20. Hahn Winery California Pinot Noir 2011 - A Brilliant Bargain (Bulk Buy)
A Brilliant Bargain
2011 Hahn Winery California Pinot Noir
Available for as little as $12. From California.
Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

The Hahn Pinot Noir features just about the perfect mix of berry flavors, spice and pepper and pairs wonderfully with just about anything. At only $12, I call that a brilliant bargain. In fact, this is not just great Pinot Noir for under $20, it's a great wine for less than $20 too, which is why it's on the current Top 10 Reds list.


Five Favorites - Fantastic Pinot Noir Under $20.. Seufert Winery Pinot Noir Cuvee 2007 - Hunt For The Best Pinot Noir Under $20
Smoky, Fruity and Spicy
2007 Seufert Winery Pinot Noir Cuvée
Available for as low as $18. From the Willamette Valley, Oregon.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

You can't have a favorite Pinot Noir list without a wine from Oregon, although staying under $20 can be tough in this region, especially in this variety. This Pinot Noir from Seufert Winery just barely slides in under our limit and for that we're thankful. It begins with a great aromatic nose of plum, strawberries, leather and smoked meat and gets even better from there.



Five Favorites - Fantastic Pinot Noir Under $20. Ninety Plus (90+) Cellars Reserve Lot 56 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2008 - Eminently Drinkable
Eminently Drinkable
2008 90 Plus Cellars Reserve Lot 56 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Available for as litle as $15. From the Russian River Valley, California.
Buy this wine online from our featured sponsor Marketview Liquor or see a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

Another wine that has a spot on our current Top 10 Reds list. The 90+ Cellars is unique in that this is actually a much more expensive wine masquerading as a cheap one -- the sneaky things wineries will do just to make The Reverse Wine Snob! In all seriousness however, wineries in the Russian River Valley are able to charge high prices for a reason -- Pinot Noir thrives here. This is a great example of the region featuring excellent aromas, wonderful balance, delicious fruit, nice spice and a deliciously smooth texture.


Goldwater Wairau Valley Marlborough Pinot Noir 2010 - Pinot Noir Perfection
Pinot Noir Perfection
2010 Goldwater Wairau Valley Marlborough Pinot Noir
Available for $23. From the Wairau Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.

I know, I know...we're over our limit! But only by $3 and if you are a fan of Pinot Noir this is definitely one to splurge on. There's a reason I titled my review of this wine "Pinot Noir Perfection" -- it's because I meant it. Raspberry, cocoa, mint, earth and even caramel notes contribute to an absolutely beautiful bouquet of aromas. This is followed by juicy and delicious fruit with perfectly integrated spice when tasting. The finish lasts for a very long time and goes through stages of spicy black pepper, then fruit, and finally some lingering chocolate notes. Fabulous!


There you have it, five of my favorite Pinot Noirs for under $20 (or close to it!) Click the wine names or pictures to get to the original posts for more details on each wine. All wines received as samples for review.

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