Pinot Noir is synonymous with Sonoma County as one of the flagship wines of the Russian River Valley region. Light bodied with moderate to high acidity gives Pinot Noir a structure that makes it eminently pair worthy with a wide range of foods. A cool climate grape, Pinot Noir can be finicky and difficult to grow, but it is also most expressive and reflective of the place where it’s grown. Here in Sonoma County, in the Russian River Valley and along the Sonoma Coast, we have some of world’s best vineyards and growing conditions for producing classic Pinot Noir of elegance and complexity.
Here are capsule reviews of Pinot Noir you may find along the Wine Road.
Baldassari 2020 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
The Baldassari 2020 Pinot Noir from Russian River Valley has a palpable vitality. On the nose, an aromatic rush to the senses with crushed rose petals, cranberry, cherry, earthy brambles and a touch of bacon fat. On the palate, a well-integrated interplay of acid and tannin deliver juicy layered flavors of cherry, red raspberry, wild blueberry, fig, rhubarb and a whiff of cotton candy. It’s a delicious thrill ride with a spicy finish that’s lean and bright. Pair with wild mushroom pizza.
De Loach Vineyards 2020 Estate Pinot Noir Russian River Valley
The DeLoach Vineyards 2020 Estate Pinot Noir from Russian River Valley is made using eight estate clones; 115, 828, Swan, La Tache, Calera and Mt. Eden, 777 and 23. In the glass it has a bewitching elegant nose of cocoa, and raspberry with a hint of vanilla. On the palate, bright acidity with juicy notes of cotton candy, raspberry compote, and blueberry. Plush tannins deliver notes of black pepper, clove, and cherry pie with a ribbon of thyme on the long lingering finish. Great age potential; will develop further complexity over time, but simply delicious right now as well.
Landmark Vineyards 2021 Pinot Noir Hop Kiln Estate Russian River Valley
The Landmark Vineyards 2021 Pinot Noir from the Hop Kiln Estate in Russian River Valley has an aromatic nose composed of sweet violet, vanilla, raspberry, bright cherry and black pepper. On the palate is has great texture with initial notes of plum sauce, blood orange, raspberry. The mid palate delivers earthy flavors of mushroom, sweet tobacco and Herbs de Provence. The long bright finish is tangy and tart with notes of hibiscus and clove. Pair with spicy fajitas.
Longboard Vineyards 2021 Pinot Noir, Meant to Be Vineyard, Russian River Valley
The 2021 Longboard Vineyard Pinot Noir from Meant to Bee Vineyard in Russian River Valley is a Pinot lovers Pinot. On the nose, a delicious bouquet of sugarplum, vanilla and sweet cedar. On the palate it’s juicy, bright and flavorful with a nice balance of black and red fruits including blueberry and raspberry. As the layers of flavor unfold, notes of hibiscus and tart strawberry come into play with sweet tobacco, and a minty note of chaparral on the long lean finish. Pair with pulled pork sliders.
Papapietro Perry 2020 Pinot Noir Campbell Ranch, Sonoma Coast
The 2020 Papapietro Perry Pinot Noir from Campbell Ranch on the Sonoma Coast offers a myriad of delights. On the nose, a bouquet of raspberry fruit leather, black cherry, wild blueberry and a hint of flint. On the palate, bright flavors of cherry, hibiscus, and rose hips balanced with deep notes of rooibos, cranberry, leather, and mushroom. A warm note of earthy sweet tobacco comes through on the long lingering finish. Great structure with potential to age and develop further. Try pairing with grilled eggplant or duck confit.
Russian River Vineyards 2019 Pinot Noir, Estate Grown Austin Vineyard, Russian River Valley
The Russian River Vineyards 2019 Pinot Noir, Estate Grown, is from the Austin Vineyard in the heart of Russian River Valley. On the Nose, a pleasing light scent of sweet violet and vanilla with an undertone of chanterelles. On the palate, flavors of cranberry, sugarplum, mocha, and all spice, merge with notes of back cherry, and cocoa. The tart, yet savory, finish has notes of clove, fig newton and sweet tobacco. Pair a tangy Thai barbecue chicken.