Wine Talk

Snooth User: jamessulis

Searching for a Resonable Pinot Noir

Posted by jamessulis, Nov 19, 2016.

Being aware of price points for most of the other varietals I have always wondered why the Pinot Noirs are always priced way ahead of the other varietals.

It is almost impossible to purchase a Pinot Noir at the same price point/quality as a Cabernet Sauvignon for under $20

Now I live in a region where both Cabernet Sauvignon (Washington State) and Pinot Noir (Oregon) have some of the finest selections available on the market anywhere.

Pinot Noir doesn't have more expensive bottles, corks, labels,shipping or labor. So is it the mystique of Pinot Noir or the Snobbery?

Lefty - The Great Pacific Northwest

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Replies

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Reply by outthere, Nov 19, 2016.

Depends on our definition of reasonable. QPR?

Pinot fruit is more expensive to grow, small clusters, prone to bunch rot and makes for more expensive fruit. They don't grow PN in the central valley because it's too hot a climate so no cheap mass production vineyards are available.

 
With that said, Pinot Noir is one of the most misrepresented varieties on the market. It's a fickle grape that takes care to produce a good varietally correct wine. Too much gloppy, over-ripe, flabby PN on the market.
 
Most grocery stores carry MacMurray Ranch which is not bad for the price. The Estate RRV is better than the Central Coast but you are at the mercy of your store.
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Reply by duncan 906, Nov 19, 2016.

I see no reason why pinot noir should be any more costly to cultivate or vinify than any other grape but you are right to point out that the wines tend to be more expensive. It is also true that in a list of the world's most expensive wines,a large proportion will be Burgundys and red Burgundys are made of pinot noir.

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Reply by bostonlobsterman, Nov 19, 2016.

Like everything else in life it is right place at right time. I ran into some fabulous 2005 PN in Burgundy this fall at a decent price. I don't recall running into a CA let alone OR or WA PN that could compete with the French except in price.  If I lived in the beautiful CA wine country, I would be drinking zin and cab. 

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Reply by outthere, Nov 19, 2016.

I see no reason why pinot noir should be any more costly to cultivate or vinify than any other grape

 

Hmm, I listed at least three.

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Reply by JonDerry, Nov 19, 2016.

Try Estancia.

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Reply by rckr1951, Nov 19, 2016.

Try the Hahn SLH 2014 - excellent for $20 and at a about $25 the Melleville 2013 is very good also.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Nov 19, 2016.

For the price, the MacMurray is pretty good and varietally correct.  Castle Rock has made a business of buying other people's PN juice and packaging it at very low prices, but it's too hit and miss to be worth buying.  Calera's Central Coast bottle is pretty reasonable, although Josh Jensen told me he is not happy that it's nearly all Dijon clones, but since he is purchasing fruit, there's little he can do.  He makes it very nicely. 

Cab can crop in hotter climates, yield 6-8 tons per acre, and still be pretty good.  PN will never crop at those levels successfully and is more particular about where it grows--points OT made as well.  (And the bunch rot, but there you go.)  I disagree that PN from Burgundy is a better deal, unless you live on the east coast and have very limited access to California and Oregon wines.  Lower priced Burgundy is from the poorer sections of the Cote d'Or or Mercurey/Chalonnais and much of it is pretty stringy stuff.  Basic Villages Burgs go for what better appellation (AVA) PNs like Scherrer's RRV or Patz and Hall's Sonoma Coast, and are about as good.  Once you get above that, you are talking about whether you like one particular vineyard and maker combination, whether that's some French guy with holdings in Musigny or someone making PN from Pisoni or Hyde's fruit. Styles vary in every area. 

Lately, Lefty, I've been buying PN from Oregon--Cottonwood, Blakeslee, among others.  Wineries that haven't found a market but made good stuff.  I've been getting it for 12-16 a bottle.  Good enough for Friday night chicken.  Tastes and smells like PN shoud--wild, heady, floral, herby, spicy, all that stuff. 

At the supermarket, yeah, you won't be finding huge deals on PN you actually want to drink.

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Reply by jamessulis, Nov 20, 2016.

After a day of research I believe I have found some to try in the future that may have some merits. . I do understand the reasons why Pinot Noir is expensive as pointed out by OUTTHERE and thanks for the post.

I am not a cheapskate but honestly it may be your station in life, some can afford $400 italian shoes and others look for more of a bargain, so reasonable is a relative term. I have purchased a single bottle of wine for $120 and as low as under $4 dollars a bottle. My lifestyle says this is a comfortable range for me.  Some of my favorite Washington State Cabs are under $15 and to my taster, they're exceptional.

Snooth I believe has a saying "You don't have to spend a lot of money to get a great wine" but I think you have to hunt and try and educate yourself by buying and tasting whatever you are seeking.  As pointed out by JONDERRY  with Estancia. Here is some of the Pinot Noirs that are available with great wine ratings from Total Wine and More................

 UNDER $7

 

YELLOW TAIL (AUS)

FLIP FLOP  (CA)

PEPPERWOOD GROVE (CA)

CUPCAKE  (CA)

 

UNDER $10

 

FIVE BRANCHES  (CA)

NEWMANS OWN (CA)

WOODBRIDGE MONDAVI  (CA)

CONCANNON   (CA)

LOW HANGING FRUIT  (CA)

LINE 39  (CA)

FAT BASTARD  (FRANCE)

ESTANCIA  (CA)

DE LOACH  (CA)

LUC PIRLET  (FRANCE)

SEA GLASS  (CA)

HAHN  (CA)

SEVEN PEAKS  (CA)

All are Pinot Noirs and are available locally here in Washington State.

Notice none of the wines are from the great Pinot Noir State of Oregon. Oregon Pinot's usually range an average of $25 to $50 per bottle (with few exceptions). Kind of outrageous for a daily Pinot Noir (IMO). Possibly the weather is on the fringe of producing low yields or Oregon wine growers are born with the Snobbery Gene?

Lefty

The Great Pacific Northwest

 

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Reply by SecretSanta, Nov 20, 2016.

De Loach, Estancia, Hahn... I wouldn't venture any further. Anything under $15 will not resemble Pinot Noir in the slightest. Not that you might not like it, just that it won't be representative of the actual grape.

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Reply by jamessulis, Nov 20, 2016.

To SECRETSANTA

You possibly are onto something sir, however now that I have one who doesn't recommend it and one who does.

I'll just have to make up my own mind.

Curious as if it doesn't taste like the actual grape what does it resemble?

At what price point does Pinot Noir taste like Pinot Noir?

Please offer an answer to my question SECRET SANTA

Appreciating your input.

Lefty

The Great Pacific Northwest

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Reply by SecretSanta, Nov 20, 2016.

Curious as if it doesn't taste like the actual grape what does it resemble?

Generic table wine.  Pinot Noir is a delicate lively wine. Sub $20 Pinot tends to be thick, over-ripe, lacking natural acidity and floral notes due to the manufacturing processes at the wine manufacturing facilities and the low quality fruit that is blended to achieve the brands recipe.

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Reply by MJET, Nov 20, 2016.

La Crema has different offerings in the $20 range. It's my go to crowd pleaser at parties. Worth a try. Estancia is decent.

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Reply by bostonlobsterman, Nov 20, 2016.

A couple months ago I bought this 2005 Santenay for 16.20 eu after tasting it, about $17.20. I promise you this is a truly outstanding Pinot Noir in an excellent year at a bargain price. The 2007 Pommard is pricier but it is knock your socks off. 

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Reply by bostonlobsterman, Nov 20, 2016.

I am extremely price conscious when I buy wine. If I part with more than $20 I better know what I am getting. The most I ever spent on a Pinot Noir was $100 when I was entertaining a client who absolutely loved Nuit-Saint Georges.

The most I ever spent for myself was $100 on a 1961 Chateau Lynch Bage when there were 11 French franc to the dollar. But 1961 was a year that we will never see again. It is also a year that I learned in school turned upside down does not change its value. "When is the next time that will happen?" asked Mrs. Johnson. 

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Reply by bostonlobsterman, Nov 20, 2016.
USA (CA): San Francisco.
 
  • Free shipping on eligible orders.

1961 Lynch-Bages 750ml $ 1,200.00 Bottle ex. sales tax Shop

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Reply by bostonlobsterman, Nov 20, 2016.

PS I have to say I really like this forum because I have learned a lot, but when I joined I thought it would be how to drink well for under $20, but it is mostly how to drink well for over $50. That is fun too, but has limited application for many.

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Reply by bostonlobsterman, Nov 20, 2016.

Ok went into the cellar to see what I could find. Here is one that I bought recently from Trader Joes for $9 on sale. I think it is very drinkable. Not a "special" wine but nonetheless meritable at its price point. 

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Reply by bostonlobsterman, Nov 20, 2016.

It is 60% Monterey, 24% Santa Barbara, and 16% Sonoma. Bottled in Napa for cache. Your quintessential cheap CA Pinot.  Try it you may like it.

 

  

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Reply by outthere, Nov 20, 2016.

 

PS I have to say I really like this forum because I have learned a lot, but when I joined I thought it would be how to drink well for under $20, but it is mostly how to drink well for over $50. That is fun too, but has limited application for many.

 

LOL, once you get bit by the bug there's no real cure, just more medication.

Hey, my 49ers are making a game of it vs the Pats today.

 

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Reply by bostonlobsterman, Nov 20, 2016.

It seems so but would you bet against the Pats?

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