Amanda Schuster

Wine and spirits writer/consultant/marketer. Spirits expert w in depth knowledge of Spanish, Portuguese and Loire/Languedoc wines (you might say "bi-spiritual.") NYC born and bred food lover. Sometime jewelry designer. Overall broad about town.

American Pinots

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Panther Creek Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Winemaker's Cuvée (2005)
Previously available for $10.99
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2 Underwood Cellars Pinot Noir United States Oregon Willamette Valley Red (2010)
Comments: Surprisingly smooth Pinot at this price point, and a twist-top to boot! Lip-smacking cherry flavors, though not too fruity. Has an earthy balance, sort of a root beer finish. Great casual wine for gatherings.
Previously available for $11.99
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3 Freeman Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Keefer Ranch (2009)
Comments: The aromatics are lovely - purple flowers, spicebox, black fruits. Great spice to balance out the fruit on the palate, with bitter earth notes to round it out. Flavors have a lot of room to develop.
Average price: $41.00 from 1 store
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4 Alysian Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Russian River Selection (2008)
Comments: Great selection for the price-point. A little a this, a little that - fruit, smoke, spice, earth. One of the few wines I've tried that actually tastes a little grapey. Think this would be very food-friendly and versatile.
Previously available for $40.00
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5 Mcwilliam's Hanwood Estate Pinot Noir Pinot Noir (2008)
Comments: For a new world pinot, this is pretty well balanced between fruit and earth, but more dry than fruity. Dark cherry flavors with a hint of chocolate and coffee, decent tannins.
Previously available for $9.99
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6 Flowersf Vineyard & Winery Perennial Red (2007)
Previously available for $39.99
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7 Iron Horse Vineyards Pinot Noir Green Valley Estate Rosé de Pinot Noir (2010)
Comments: Gorgeous sparkler. Vibrant strawberry and tart cherries, delicate bubbles, slightly biscuity. A perfect aperitif!
Average price: $56.59 from 4 stores
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8 Sean Thackrey Pinot Noir Marin County Andromeda Devil's Gulch Ranch (2009)
Comments: Cally Pinot Noir with a real point of view. Bright, ripe cherries on the nose, but instead of the usual, heavy Cally vanilla oak, this is rounded out with herbal notes of pine needle and eucalyptus, with some earth and sweet pipe tobacco. Kept coming back to it. This might age wonderfully too.
Previously available for $64.95
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