It’s been fascinating reading the Grenache thread and seeing opinions from those on this board - and the idea of ‘best’ based on subjective characteristics. We ALL know that folks on this board probably drink more pinot based wines than any others (cab would be a second if I had to guess based on posts) and therefore it would be interesting to see what folks say about this variety as well.
I would find it interesting to see not only the producer that you feel makes the ‘best’ Pinot but why - why is that producer’s take on the variety so distinctive that it makes them ‘best’. And of course there is the caveat that ‘price does not matter’ - I would think if pricing was taken into account, the list would probably be different.
Have fun, all!
Côte de Nuits …
If I follow my ratings through the years :
Dujac (Gevrey Combottes 1989, Clos de la Roche 1989)
Louis-Michel Liger-Belair (La Romanée)
Hudelot-Noëllat (Richebourg 2016, RSV 1989)
and even : Prieuré-Roch (Chambertin Clos de Bèze 2007, Clos Goillotte 1998)
Last month, I had a tremendous “mere” Bourgogne rouge Coche-Dury 2017 (17/20 - Q/P, if you buy at the domain)
Among many others , very good quite recent surprises :
Oregon (pinot noir) Dundee Hills John Thomas 2004 (16/20)
Oregon (pinot noir) The Eyrie Vineyards 1985 (16,5/20)
Marlborough- Greywacke Vineyards “Kevin Judd” Pinot Noir 2014 (17/20)
Canterbury - Pyramid Valley Vineyards “Angel Flower” Pinot Noir 2015 (17,5/20)
Central Otago - Rippon Winery Pinot Noir 2009 (17/20)
Central Otago - Felton Road Wine “Bannockburn” Pinot Noir 2016 (16,5/20)
Keller Westhofen Morstein spätburgunder GG 2012
Markus Molitor Brauneberger Klostergarten ** Pinot Noir 2011
And I really hope folks are not intimidated taking part in this thread. There definitely seems to be a ‘lean’ here towards Burgundy and ‘old world’ styles over all others, but that does not mean that has to be YOUR take on a variety. If SQN Grenaches can be considered by many to be ‘some of the best in the world’ by some, then there is no doubt that some out there might feel that KB or Sea Smoke or something similar might fit that bill for Pinot - and no one can say that you are ‘wrong’ because it’s your opinion . . .
I’ve had horrible luck with Burgundy and excellent results in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
I’ve had limited exposure to red burgundy, and have never tried any of its top tier wines. Some of my domestic favorites include:
Because I fell in love with Pinot Noir too late to afford most of Burgundy…I will say Oregon:
If price is not an objection, then Burgundy. For Pinot in the $50 per bottle range- Santa Rita Hills. Just because I live in the SRH and grow Pinot does not make me biased does it?
In my limited exposure to wines in general
- Chanin Bien Nacido
- Domaine de La Cote Blooms/La Cote
- Sanford Founder’s Pinot
I buy more from the Cote de Beaune than CdN, and more from Gevrey than Vosne, but… if price is no object, Vosne is king.
Old World: DRC
New World: Pisoni
Austria makes some fabulous versions.
I think there are lots of interesting and unique visions of what Pinot Noir can be. I think the world’s finest Pinot Noir is from Burgundy, Oregon, New Zealand, and California but there are a lot of emerging areas around the world and that’s exciting for me.
Producers I really like include:
Patricia Green Cellars
Domaine des Lambrays
Domaine Jean Grivot
Au Bon Climat
Pisoni is so underrated. Consistently spectacular.
If the playing field is level (i.e. pricing not insane) then no doubt the best comes from a small circle around Vosne. Which one depends on personal stylistic preference.
From a pure biological perspective, there is something to be said about PN being from Burgundy to begin with, and therefore having evolved over so many thousands of years to be ideally suited for its climate, to say nothing of the 1,000+ years of human cultivation of the grape there. For the vast majority of the existence of the vine, it has been being selected for (naturally at first, then intentionally by monks) for the conditions in Burgundy. This also means that the answer may not be the same in the future because of climate change.
My all-time favorites and “ah-ha” wines have come overwhelmingly from VR, but to be fair I have not spent as much time in other non-burgundy PN geographies, and frankly it is probably too soon to say, since we don’t really have examples of very aged wines made from old-vine PN anywhere else (ex champagne), so at best this is an apples-and-oranges discussion for people who like aged PN.
Everyone knows Burgundy is dead at retail