I’m always looking for good Pinot Noirs. I love ones from Burgundy, the pinnacle of complexity and silkiness, but my wallet does not. American ones often tend to be huge fruit bombs without any balance, which is why In Pursuit of Balance exists. It’s an event that showcases great Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that have well-balanced fruit, acid, structure, even earthiness.
Most of the ones being poured at this year’s event were from the 2012 vintage. For a good Pinot, two years isn’t nearly enough aging time. Still, you can taste the flavors and balance in a wine, figure out what you like, and then hold it for a while. Here were my faves.
Lioco “Savaria Vineyard”, Santa Cruz Mountains 2012
Light and tangy, some earthiness, loved!
$50 here: shop.liocowine.com/store
Kutch “Falstaff”, Sonoma Coast 2012
Lots of plum, a hint of cranberry. Very light, silky, and great acid too.
$59 via mailing list: kutchwines.com/mailing-list/
Littorai, Pivot Vineyard, Sonoma Coast 2012
Awesome bright red cherry and cranberry.
Around $70 via mailing list: shop.littorai.com/
Twomey, Bien Nacido 2012
Have had a few Pinot from the Bien Nacido vineyard and have liked them all. A bit lusher and darker black fruit than the other ones I tried. Velvety.
$54 here: twomey.com/#!/shop/shelf;Pinot%20Noir
Tyler, Bien Nacido – Old Vine 2012
See? Another Bien Nacido. Mellow cherry and nice acid balance.
$65 here: tylerwinery.com/store/item/2011-bien-nacido-vineyard-old-vine-pinot-noir
Sandhi Amrita “Wenzlau”, Santa Rita Hills 2012
This wine’s made by Raj Parr, one of the guys who started IPOB. Obviously, this Pinot should be well-balnced – and it is. Really delicious black cherry too.
Not released yet, but you can get others here: shop.sandhiwines.com/Wines