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Tips: More Pinot Picks

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Inn at Little Washington's Tyler Packwood notes that although its wine list features 17 pages of red Burgundy (vs. two pages of California and a half-page of Oregon pinot noirs), he wouldn't suggest one to guests unless he was sure they'd enjoy its austere fruit and terroir. "If they prefer [fruitier] California and Oregon pinot noirs and wanted to try something new, I might pour them a pinot noir from New Zealand instead," he told us. He cites a few New World favorites:

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Oregon: "I love sour cherry flavors in pinot noir, and the 2005 Dusky Goose Pinot Noir (about $70 at retail) has them in spades."

California's Sonoma Coast: "The 2005 Adrian Fog Numbers Pinot Noir (about $70) has a notable sense of place."

New Zealand: "The 2003 Escarpment Martinborough Pinot Noir (about $38) is a cool-climate pinot that brings richer, riper fruit to the glass."

Etude winemaker Jon Priest admits that he enjoys other California pinot noirs besides his own, including those from:

Littorai: "They have a real Burgundian sensibility."

Freeman: "Their wines are a completely different style from mine. They have very nice aromatics, are pleasing and easy, yet with a great sense of finesse."

Ojai Vineyard: "They have a real sense of purity without being overblown."


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