Tips: More Pinot Picks

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:

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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