Here a Pinot, there a Pinot…

… everywhere a Pinot!

Admit it.  You love Pinot.  This finicky grape enjoys immense buying power pretty much everywhere it goes.  Did you know that it’s one of the most difficult grapes to grow?  Yup.  ‘Tis.  “God made Cabernet Sauvignon whereas the devil made Pinot Noir,” says Andre Tchelistcheff, Vice President and Chief Winemaker at Beaulieu Vinyards from 1938 to 1973.  It seems to inspire a particular sort of passion among winemakers, probably because it is such a challenge.  Never let it be said that winemakers aren’t an obsessive bunch.  But that is a good thing for you!  Because they keep trying and trying to make the best Pinot possible.  And many times they succeed!  Like with these three Pinots that I present to you on this Monday afternoon- three recent favorites, of mine personally and of staff and customers!

First up is the Sean Minor “Four Bears” Pinot Noir, 2008 from Carneros.  We have been killing it with this wine at Cellar for a few months now.  It’s the friendliest of the three, and it really captures the sunny, warm, inviting characteristic of Carneros Pinot Noir.    I get lots of vanilla on the inhale and it’s pretty darn sexy.  A plush wine, with juicy blueberry notes, plums, laced in with toast, black tea, a little spicy nutmeg and the aforementioned vanilla.  This is a Pinot that’s been told to behave and smile- and it certainly does.  It smiles real pretty with a dimples on it’s cheeks.  At $16 a bottle, this guy is a real steal.  Wine Enthusiast gave it 91 points, to boot.

Next up is the Maysara “3 Degrees” Pinot Noir, 2008 Oregon.  I’ve been a fan of Maysara’s wines for some time now- and then recently found out two new fun facts about them- 1.) the winemakers are three sisters and they are currently the youngest female winemaking team in the country! (according to and 2.) they are certified Biodynamic and employ Organic farming methods!  So you can feel good about this purchase, especially when you can buy it for $19 at Cellar!  Maysara makes lots and lots of different wines- Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, a delicious Rose of Pinot Noir, as well as lots of different single vineyard Pinot Noirs.  This is the first release of the 3 Degrees.  (check out their other wines here.  it’s worth a visit just to see the beautiful label art and cool names).

Anywho- the 3 Degrees is a light juicy little wine- only 12.5% alcohol.  Beautiful black cherry, cream soda, hints of fir tree, and a lean tart cranberry finish make my mouth quite happy.  This wine is a touch more demure than the Sean Minor, slightly more feminine, graceful, and yet perky.  YUM.  Can’t wait for the Advintage trade show so I can revisit all the Maysara wines!

Last but not least is the Fat Barrel Pinot Noir, 2007 Willamette Valley.  This one is a cross between a Oregon Pinot fan’s Pinot and a Burgundy fan’s Pinot.  To me it smells like Oregon and sips like Burgundy.  Vanilla, raspberry, cranberry, toast, black pepper and wood are what it’s workin’ with.  The reason I think it sips like a red Burgundy is that it’s a touch more refined and subtle.  If the Sean Minor has a bright dimpled smile, than this wine has more of a wink… and than sneaks you a smile a few seconds later.  Sexy.  We only have about a case of this wine available, and you can grab one for $24 a bottle ASAP!  As an added bonus, the folks at Fat Barrel give 10% of their sales revenue to local community organizations to help those with less.  Yet another bottle you can feel good about buying!  Happy Pinot Drinkin’!


2 thoughts on “Here a Pinot, there a Pinot…

  1. my experience has taught me that Pinot Noir is a thin skinned grape which makes it more susceptible to all the bad things that can happen, during fermentation, you have to check things 3 times a day, you have to be very careful how you handle the cap, and manage the contact with the lees. It can be amazingly acidic for the color profile

  2. Pingback: Top Five Wine Sale Picks! « the wine snob.

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