Luxury Priced Pinot

Ready for duty on Valentine’s Day


Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. A day to celebrate love. As I’ve been writing there are many great wines to choose to celebrate Valentines Day, but if you still haven’t decided on which one is right for you, you better start thinking about it. Lets face it, with each second that ticks by your options get more limited. You’ll probably still have more options than you need, but fewer than you might want.

At this point in the game it’s time to fall back to plan B. What is plan B you ask? It’s the failsafe. The fool-proof. The old reliable and indispensable. And for date night what could be better than Pinot Noir? Expensive Pinot Noir. Yup, we got the cure all that you’re looking for. Step right up and grab one of these bottles of luxury Pinot Noir to share with your sweetheart on V-Day. They are delicious, of that there is no doubt, and super food friendly, though I’d skip the Foie Gras tasting menu and stick with something a bit simpler. Steak, salmon, and venison all spring to mind as wonderful option to pair with these wines.  So relax. We’ve got you covered. You’ll find some lovely high end Pinot on the list  at the restaurant you booked for tomorrow. You did remember to make those reservations, didn't you? If not, start cooking baby. Start cooking. I’d suggest this killer Valentine’s Day Menu myself, but with just a day to prepare take-out is looking might fine too!


With riper fruit and another year in bottle this shows less of an overt oak treatment and features a bigger core of cola scented blackberry and pomegranate  fruit on the nose, though with air fine notes of oak, imported chocolate, and spice emerge along with cinnamon dusted chery notes. Wow this is smooth, supple and polished but not soft. The fruit is clear but starts out subtly with a hint of minerality before the blackberry and blueberry toned fruit with a hint of gaminess pops on the midpalate with a nice edge of balsamic spice. The tannins here are a bit chewy but sweet, covering a flash of minerality on the finish which is long and richly fruited, black cherry and blackberry tones layered over well integrated wood spice. the alcohol intrudes a bit, adding some warmth to the finish, but this is really well put together if not small scaled. The finish is exceptionally long. 94pts

Ten Acre

Very focused on the nose with direct aromas of cola tinged blackberry and  cherry fruit framed with sweet toasted baking spice and vanilla, and even a touch of coconut. Soft though not lacking in acid, this is rather rich in fruit and a bit extracted which gives it plenty of buffering material and a pleasant richness on entry, though on the mid-palate this becomes much for finely focused with some stemmy tannins and that firm acid vein supporting slightly earthy and minerally black berry flavors that pick up a hint of sassafras and an incipient mushroom note. The tannins build on the finish, cutting it a bit short though leaving the palate with cherry skin, briary wood and mineral flavors. Needs another year but is already very fine. 93pts

Lange Estate

Subtle yet rich with dried herb, dried flower, and lovely cherry and almost blueberry aromas that have delicate savory and sweetly medicinal base notes. This smells terrific. Bright acids greet the palate followed by finely etched flavors of wild blackberry and tart cranberries all wrapped up in subtle floral and herb scents along with a hint of sweet vanilla oak. This is medium bodied but feels small and tight in the mouth with a burst of black cherry, carob, and mineral earthiness on the backend before fading on the relatively modest, earthy and tart dried cranberry finish. There’s a really attractive mineral aspect to the finish as well, which shows lovely persistence but  I would like to see more fruit there and with time it may emerge as evidenced by faint hints of raspberry and pomegranate seed on the finale. This trades complexity for power and has gorgeous balance. 92pts


Tight and a bit smoky and earthy on the nose with hints of rusty earth framing a gently spiced core of red berry/cherry fruit. This open with lovely bright but integrated acids supporting sweet cherry and blueberry fruit that gains a little tart plum note on the backend. The tannins are finely managed adding some firmness on the mid-palate and a light drying edge to the moderately long finish.  Very easy drinking, fresh, light and well balanced with fine snap to it and energy on the moderately long mouthwatering finish. 92pts


Intense with Pinot fruit on the nose but at the same time there are unusual aromas of sandalwood, iris, jasmin, musk and sandstone adding detail. Really rather perfumed in a masculine, cologne kind of way, almost leathery and smelling slightly of peaches and diesel. Slippery on entry with fine minerality right up front, soft tannins, a broad mouthfeel that is transparent with slightly astringent red fruits, currant and cranberry, on the palate and a hint of underlying bitterness adding tension. The acidity adds a hint of brightness on the palate before this fades on the subtle and long finish. Elegant and complex, the oak treatment here imparts quite a unique aromatic profile. 92pts

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Top Luxury Pinot Noir Tasted 12/13

Trombetta Pinot Noir Gap's Crown (2010)
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Ten Acre Pinot Noir Stephens Vineyard (2010)
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Lange Pinot Noir Three Hills Cuvee (2010)
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Alysian Pinot Noir Hallberg Vineyard Crossroads Russian River Valley (2010)
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Trombetta Gap's Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir (2011)
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