Question on top US pinot noir

Hi berserkers,
I’m contemplating hosting a pinot noir tasting for my tasting group. It will be mainly centered around Burgundy but I want to insert a number of qualified jokers. And by qualified, I mean really stupendous wines that can hopefully hold a candle against the likes of Liger-Belair, Rousseau, Perrot-Minot and others. The closest I have come personally were a couple of 2008 Rhys Single Vineyard pinots, so they are currently my top choice. But I would love to know if there are others I should rather seek out? I am looking for bright, zingy, crunchy, ethereal, airy - NOT jammy, overripe, sweet, candied, liqueured. Rhys were on the riper end of my preferences but still managed too move me. Please help me, where should I look? Thanks in advance

Arcadian, with more age (say at least early 2000s), would be an obvious choice.

People often reference Arnot Roberts in this discussion, but I haven’t had their pinots.

Copain Wentzel might be a good choice.

Sounds like a fun tasting.

I’m not sure I would go with Arcadian in this context. While I myself like them, and they are not “jammy, overripe, sweet, candied, liqueured,” I think they would stick out like a little bit of a sore thumb in the OP’s context, owing to their terroir (cola notes, etc)–sort of their own thing, I might go with something from Oregon, if you can access it. Haven’t been drinking much from there lately–instead going for Burgundy–but I have been enjoying Jim Anderson’s wines at Patricia Greene, who posts here (you could possibly reach out to him), as well some others on this board (Marcus Goodfellow), and there are also a number of good threads, if you search.

Patricia Green Cellars Estate Old Vine
Thomas Dundee Hills
Cameron Clos Electrique
Eyrie Vineyards


Eyrie is the alpha and omega of American pinot noir.

This. Also Kelley Fox Maresh Vineyard and Goodfellow Durant or Whistling Ridge (preferably ones that are 5+ years old).

Hans, I started hosting an annual Burgundy tasting with our wines as a measuring stick for Oregon. It’s a trade tasting with local(Portland) retailers and sommeliers. The Burgundy is premier Cru or Vieilles Vignes and we do 3 current vintages and one cellar flight.

Among this years attendees were Eric Pottmeyer from Sec Wines, Suzanne from Vinopolis, and Bob Wolfe from Oregon Pinot Noir Club. All are excellent sources of information on Oregon in general but could also give you their unbiased opinion on the tasting.

I’m not trying to be arrogant about our wines. I just love Burgundy and when I started out producing Oregon wines it was with a commitment to the acid and tannin structure of my favorite producers. While the 2013 vintage had some weather, the wines produced from fruit picked post rain and from vineyards with the requisite structure, they are an excellent and available option for your needs(I’m speaking of Willamette Valley wines rather than just mine).
Photos of some of the flights are below:

To be fair, we were a little heavy on Beaune wines this year. Part of that is the restaurant we set this event up with (Davenport-a GREAT wine list for selection and affordability). Last year it was very balanced and still an eye opening experience for many. Particularly the 2005 flight.

I would +1 Scott’s recommendation of Kelley Fox as a good choice as well. Eyrie is an excellent choice as well, also Brickhouse.

Last, we’re going to host a tasting of this nature and dinner on the Thursday night before IPNC this year. The dinner will be at the Durant Vineyard, the Chef is Philippe Boulot(Portland’s first James Beard award winner, although it will be a relaxed family style atmosphere for the dinner portion of the evening). Wines will cover a range of vintages, high quality producers, and range from excellent lieu sits to modest Grand Cru(trying to keep this affordable is extremely challenging).
We would love to have WBers, who are interested attend.

Looks of good choices above. I’ll add Copain Kiser En Haut, Brooks Janus and , of course (can’t believe this wasn’t mentioned yet), Mt. Eden Estate Pinot Noir.

I’ll vote for the Oregon suggestions already offered. For my taste these are much better comparators for Burgundy than anything that I’ve had from California.

Also the 2013 Evesham Wood Temperance Hill Vineyard bottling.


IMO, it’s not about the winemaking, it’s the fruit.

Thanks for the many suggestions!

To elaborate: I’d love for it to be the wotn! I want the greatest, most burgundian there is! I don’t want it to stick out. Preferably, not from either quality or from showing it’s warmer origin. Hence I’d tend to expect to be from Oregon or NorCal, as most Santa Barbara, Santa Lucia Highlands etc. I’ve had have shown a warm climate touch no matter how good they have been.

I’m from Denmark though and live in Copenhagen, so some will be difficult to source.

I once had an Arcadian that, while good, would not meet the criteria. It didn’t show warm, it just wouldn’t stand a chance of winning.

I visited Copain in 2013, tasting mostly 2010’s, it was a wonderful visit and I enjoyed the wines very much, but I also didn’t find a quality as high as I would want in this case.

Patty Green I enjoyed very much on one occassion, on another it fell through. I’d be worried that it also wasn’t on par. Haven’t tried the Estate Old Vine though. Think I have a 2013 Estate back home, don’t recall if it says OV. I’m not back home until mid-next week to check.

The Cameron I have read positively about on this board. Curious to try it. I can’t source it in Denmark though.

Don’t recall ever trying Brooks or Mt. Eden. I will search around.

Eyrie and Thomas I can find. The Thomas in particular is quite expensive, though the Estate Eyrie is also very high priced, so I guess that bodes well for their chances of ‘winning’. They have gotten me curious.

Marcus: thanks so much for the detailed posts! I’d love to attend these arrangements, but alas it is quite a long travel;-) I have also read very positively about your wines here on this board. Do you export to Denmark? If they can match a Clos des Marechale I think we’re on the way, except I’d hope to find something even better from the US for this tasting:-) I don’t read any arrogance in your posts by the way. You’re entitled to be proud and take pride in what you do! You’re maybe a little too biased, but here goes: does your best wines match the quality of the burgundies? Say, the Clos des Marechale? That would cause me to seek it out! Thanks!

Yes, in the 05 flight the Souris was many of the tasters favorite wine. That’s very subjective though and quality is a par is how I feel best describes the 05 flight. I love Chandon de Briailles and would say that wine performed extremely well.

One of the best comments of the tasting came from one of the somms. He commented that what stood out to him was the continuity of tannic structure and acidity between our wines and the Burgundy wines. That meant a lot to me, since it’s my feeling that fruit expression is far more under the sway of personal preference than the bones of the wine.

If you have access to Thomas, that is a great option. Eyrie and, in particular the PGC Old Vine Estate(of their wines) are also good choices.

…and thank you for understanding that speaking up for our wines is pride but not ego.

Ceritas for sure. Older (5-6 yrs) Hellenthal or Escarpa SV if you can source them. Sounds like a fun tasting.

Many good picks. Soliste would be my first choice. Winner of the Healdsburg Pinot festival. I have placed this in with Rousseau and it did very well.

I had a 1986 Eyrie last week that would fill that slot perfectly.

IMO Mount Eden Estate Pinot should be one of the first choices.

While I mentioned Brooks Janus I should probably also observe that the only vintage I’ve had was the 2011 which was a fantastic Oregon vintage for lovers of old school Burgundy.