Question on top US pinot noir

Echoing what some of the others have said, I would suggest Rhys, Littorai, Calera, Arterberry Maresh.

Calera, +1!!!

Beaux Freres.

Peter Michael.

Trying to stick to potentially sneaky ways to insinuate pinots from America into your Burgundy tasting.

Chasseur may be too fruit forward, but exceedingly well made.

Foursight and Ladd cellars could probably pull it off, as well.

Soliste is great but pricey. Would definitely fit in well in a Burgundy line up.

Yup, I forgot that one. very good.

I don’t drink nearly as much pinot as many here (primarily for cost reasons), but I think the best CA version I’ve personally had was a 2002 Joseph Swan Trenton Estate - very tasty in 2010 and in no danger of fading at the time. I remember it having a rich density, but it wasn’t candied or what I would consider overripe at all.

I seem to recall that there are few JS fans on the board, so perhaps others could chime in with vintages that might be drinking well now.

Definitely Mount Eden. Calera is a great choice, but be careful to avoid warm vintages.

Le Cadeau (from Oregon)

I am only mentioning this for academic purposes, as there is very little made, but the 2014* Enfield Wine Co. Pinot Noir has a tannin/acid structure that reminded me more of Burgundy than any other CA Pinot I have had to date.

*2015 was just released to the mailing list.

If you are looking for something with age on it (which I think might make the US wine more difficult to spot) I would suggest Eyrie, Hanzell and Burt Williams era Williams Selyem (1997 and earlier) at the pinnacle. You will pay accordingly, although maybe Still less than some of the burgundies.

I actually have a 2003 Beaux Freres Upper Terrace I have cellared for many years. I remember a 2002 (not upper terrace) being very good but showing a little warm climate compared to Burgundy. Would you expect this 2003 to be able to sneak in?

I have tried Callera, don’t remember which one, but that definitely could not pass for Burgundy. It was way too warm climate. Could have been from a warm year as I simply don’t remember the vintage. Edit: thinking about it, I believe it was a 2005 Jensen Vineyard. Could have '04 or '06 as well, but quite sure it was a Jensen Vnyd.

I have also visited Littorai. While some of them show fairly cool, and I greatly admire and like their wines, I’m still not convinced I find them as good as the burgundies I plan to open.

Soliste I am not familiar with. This gets several mentions as does Mt. Eden. I will make sure ro try them if I see them.

For now I think the plan is to acquire a Thomas and an Eyrie and se how they fare.

Marcus, you didn’t answer if I could find your wines in Denmark? Do you export to Denmark? Thanks in advance!

Look for old Chalone, especially '78, '80, and '83. If stored well, you’ll have plenty of dumbfounded looks after the reveal.

California Pinots are great, but would almost never be mistaken for Burgundy. If you are trying to trip up your tasters, would stick with Oregon. Eyrie, Patricia Green and Brick House would be my suggestions

I don’t know that I am looking to trip/trick my fellow tasters but I would for sure love dumbfounded looks. I don’t think it is possible for me to find such old American pinot’s though, so something young will have to do the trick.

I don’t know about Denmark but Au Bon Climat is available in the UK through Berry Bros Rudd and in Gerrmany through Martin Koessler (sp). In past I have sold ABC in France, Switzerland and the UK and it has been well received. Alcohol levels rarely go above 13,5%.

Here is the website for Martin…I think!

Except Baja Oregon i.e. Anderson Valley no?
If we had as many regulations as Burgundy I would believe its about the fruit. But we don’t so crop loads, pick dates (ban de vendange), additions/processes can IMO much more easily over take where the fruit is from.

Though I doubt the OP is going to find any of them in his next of the woods, to many small producers with only 2200 acres planted and bubbles dominating the game up here.


I drank the '97 Elke Clendenen and I made together last week…has aged beautifully. I think the Anderson Valley combines the best of two states.

Here is the website for Berry Bros Rudd and Pinot Noir:

Hans, I did send some some wines to Denmark from the 2012 vintage. The wine was underthe Matello label, and was our cuvée called Hommage.

It’s not my first choice of my wines but it would be worth taking a look at and should be reasonable enough to test a bottle out before your tasting. I’ll check with my shipper as well and see what the options are.

On another note, while I think very highly of the Beaux Frere wines, 2003 was a very hot vintage and harvest here. I have had some wines that are holding up well but nothing that isn’t quite distinct from Burgundy.

I had a Brooks Rastaban last year that was impressive, very elegant and transparent. A word of caution on mixing Oregon Pinot with burgundy. I did this a few years ago and had a few wines that were too full bodied and it spoiled the whole tasting. Even with evenly matched wines, keep in mind the differences will be magnified, for better or worse.

Mel love ABC wines and the Ici La-bas stuff you made with Jim, is an icon. I do think AV is a unique place that preforms better than OR in a cold vintage and better than CA in a hot vintage thus combining the best of both states as you put it.

If the OP’s intent is to “hide them” I would be tasting a hot vintage in Burgundy with a cool vintage in CA/OR or better yet AV. Bottle age and vintage will matter as much as anything else. Its next to impossible to make 20-30 year wines from the new world and sell them for a profit, we just don’t have the track record or average bottle prices. Were doing what we can to carry the torch and we will be passing it on. The business of this business is the hardest part which is why thats what I went to SSU for, so I could do what ever is best for the wine/vintage, and ill figure out how to pay for it later.