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Uncorking the Finest: 15 Best Pinot Noirs to Drink in 2023

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Last Updated on February 20, 2024 by Lydia Martin

As someone who loves indulging in a glass of good Pinot Noir, I’ve put together a list of the 15 best Pinot Noirs to drink in 2023. From the earthy and complex notes of the Bouchard Père & Fils Vigne de L’Enfant Jésus to the bold and fruity flavors of the Williams Selyem Pinot Noir, this list has something for everyone. 

So sit back, and let’s explore some of the finest Pinot Noirs on the market that are sure to impress in 2023.

15 Must-Have Pinot Noirs

bottles of hamilton russell one of the best pinot noirs to drink in 2023

Looking for the perfect Pinot Noir to sip in 2023? Look no further! Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or simply enjoy a good glass of red, this list of the 15 Best Pinot Noirs to Drink in 2023 will surely delight your taste buds. 

From the rugged mountains of New Zealand to the rolling hills of Burgundy, we’ve scoured the world to bring you the most exceptional Pinot Noirs to enjoy in the year ahead. So, get ready to discover your new favorite vintage!

Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti Grand Cru

ABV: 13% to 14% | REGION: Burgundy, France | PRICE: $20,000 USD to $25,000 USD

Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti Grand Cru is considered one of the best Pinot Noir wines in the world because of its exceptional location in the heart of Burgundy’s Côte de Nuits region, its winemaking legacy dating back to the 13th century, and the meticulous attention to detail applied to every aspect of the production process [1]. 

The wine’s grapes are grown on an ideal south-facing slope that enjoys excellent sun exposure, and the vineyard’s limestone-rich soils impart the wine with complexity and depth. After being harvested by hand, the grapes undergo a gentle pressing and are aged for up to 18 months in French oak barrels, adding a subtle spice and vanilla notes. 

The resulting wine is an elegant and nuanced expression of Pinot Noir, with flavors of dark fruit, earth, and minerality and a finish that lingers on the palate. With an aging potential of up to 50 years, the Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti Grand Cru is a wine of extraordinary depth and complexity that will reward those who are patient enough to cellar it.

Domaine Leroy Musigny Grand Cru

ABV: 13% | REGION: Burgundy, France | PRICE: $10,000 USD to $20,000 USD

Domaine Leroy Musigny Grand Cru is considered one of the best Pinot Noir wines because of its exceptional quality and reputation as one of the finest expressions of Burgundian winemaking. Located in the Côte de Nuits region of Burgundy, the grapes for this wine are grown on steep, rocky slopes that provide ideal conditions for producing intense, complex wines. 

The winemaking at Domaine Leroy is steeped in tradition, with a focus on minimal intervention and careful aging in French oak barrels. The resulting wine is elegant and refined, with layers of dark fruit, earth, and spice. With an aging potential of up to 50 years, this wine represents the pinnacle of Pinot Noir production and is a testament to the skill and dedication of its winemakers.

Comte Georges de Vogüé Musigny Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes

ABV: 13% | REGION: Burgundy, France | PRICE: $400 USD to $1000 USD

Comte Georges de Vogüé Musigny Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes is one of the best Pinot Noir wines due to its exceptional quality and the rich heritage of the winery. Grown on the steep slopes of Burgundy’s Côte de Nuits region, this wine is made from old vines that produce small, concentrated berries. 

The winemaking at Comte Georges de Vogüé is steeped in tradition, with a focus on aging the wine in French oak barrels for up to 18 months. The resulting wine is rich and complex, with notes of dark fruit, earth, and spice and a silky texture. With an aging potential of up to 50 years, this wine is a true expression of the terroir and the skill of its winemakers.

Dujac Fils & Pere Clos de la Roche Grand Cru

ABV: 13.5% | REGION: Burgundy, France | PRICE: $200 USD to $500 USD

Dujac Fils & Pere Clos de la Roche Grand Cru is considered one of the best pinot noirs due to its location in Burgundy, France, where the vineyards are situated on rocky soils, providing excellent drainage and forcing the vines to struggle. This results in smaller yields of grapes with intense flavors. 

The winery’s heritage and winemaking practices also contribute to the wine’s exceptional quality with the use of traditional methods and careful oak barrel aging. The resulting wine has a complex flavor profile with notes of dark and red fruit, spices, and earthy undertones and has the potential to age well for decades.

Rousseau Chambertin Grand Cru

ABV: 13.5% | REGION: Burgundy, France | PRICE: $3,500 USD to $4,500 USD

Rousseau Chambertin Grand Cru is one of the best Pinot Noirs due to its location in Burgundy’s Gevrey-Chambertin appellation, which is renowned for producing some of the world’s most elegant and complex Pinot Noirs. The wine is made from grapes grown on old vines, hand-picked, and fermented with native yeast in stainless steel tanks.

The wine is then aged in oak barrels, of which only 50% are new, for up to 18 months before being bottled. The result is a wine with a deep ruby color, a bouquet of ripe red fruit flavors with earthy notes and spices, and a powerful, structured palate with velvety tannins and a long finish. It has an excellent aging potential of 10-20 years or more.

Kistler Vineyards Pinot Noir

ABV: 13.5% to 14.5% | REGION: Russian River Valley, California, USA | PRICE: $80 USD to $175 USD

Kistler Vineyards Pinot Noir is considered one of the best Pinot Noirs because of its exceptional quality and reputation. Kistler Vineyards is located in the Russian River Valley AVA in Sonoma County, California, which is popular for producing some of the best Pinot Noir in the United States. 

Kistler sources their grapes from mountain fruit, which results in a more concentrated and complex flavor profile. Their winemaking style involves minimal intervention, allowing the grapes to fully express themselves. The wine is aged in French oak barrels for 14-18 months, which adds complexity and structure to the wine. 

The result is a wine with intense flavors of dark cherry and blackberry, with a silky texture and a long, smooth finish. The wine also has great aging potential and can continue to improve in the bottle for several years.

Williams Selyem Pinot Noir

ABV: 14.5% | REGION: Russian River Valley, California, USA | PRICE: $100 USD to $150 USD

Williams Selyem Pinot Noir is one of the best Pinot Noir wines because of its location in the Russian River Valley AVA of Sonoma County, California, where the cool climate and varied soils produce high-quality Pinot Noir. The winery’s use of sustainable farming practices and its focus on small-lot winemaking techniques results in complex, rich, and elegant wines with notes of black cherry, raspberry, and baking spices. 

The wine is aged in French oak barrels for 11 months, adding subtle vanilla and toasty notes. With its high acidity, firm tannins, and aging potential of up to 10 years, Williams Selyem Pinot Noir is a great choice for aging and will likely continue to improve over the years.

Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir

ABV: 14.5% | REGION: Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA | PRICE: $75 USD to $100 USD

Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir is one of the best Pinot Noirs due to its unique location in the Dundee Hills AVA of Willamette Valley in Oregon, USA. This vineyard, pinot noir, has high elevation, volcanic soil, and a cool climate, providing the grapes with excellent conditions to grow and mature. The winemakers at Domaine Serene use traditional winemaking techniques to create a full-bodied and elegant wine with notes of dark cherry, blackberry, and spice. 

The wine is aged in French oak barrels for 16 months, adding a subtle hint of vanilla to the finish. With an aging potential of up to 10 years, this Pinot Noir will continue to develop complexity and depth in the bottle, making it an excellent choice for aging or drinking now.

Felton Road Block 3 Pinot Noir

ABV: 14.0% | REGION: Central Otago, New Zealand | PRICE: $70 USD to $90 USD

Felton Road Block 3 Pinot Noir is considered one of the best Pinot Noir wines due to its location in Central Otago, New Zealand, known for producing high-quality Pinot Noir wines with unique expressions of terroir. The wine is made from exclusive pinot noir grapes and crafted using biodynamic and organic winemaking practices, resulting in a complex and vibrant wine.

Aged in French oak barrels, the New Zealand pinot noir showcases a balanced and elegant style with aromas of dark fruit, spice, and forest floor and a palate of rich and silky texture with flavors of ripe cherry, blackberry, and hints of vanilla. The wine has excellent aging potential and is expected to continue to improve in the bottle for several years.

Archery Summit Estate Pinot Noir

ABV: 14.5% | REGION: Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA | PRICE: $100 USD to $125 USD

Archery Summit Estate Pinot Noir is one of the best Pinot Noirs due to its location in the Willamette Valley, which is known for its ideal growing conditions for Pinot Noir. The estate vineyard is situated in the Dundee Hills sub-AVA, which has volcanic soils and a cool climate that contribute to the wine’s complex and layered flavors. 

The winemaking process involves hand-sorting and using native yeast, with aging in French oak barrels for 10-12 months, resulting in a wine with elegant tannins and rich flavors of black cherry, raspberry, and earthy undertones. With the potential to age up to 15 years, this wine is a great example of the quality that can be achieved in Oregon Pinot Noir.

Aubert Pinot Noir

ABV: 14.5% to 15.5% | REGION: Sonoma Coast, California, USA | PRICE: $150 USD to $200 USD

Aubert Pinot Noir is considered one of the best Pinot Noirs due to its location in the Sonoma Coast AVA, where the cool climate and diverse soils produce pinot noir grape varietals with great depth and complexity. The mountain fruit is carefully selected, and the winemaking process involves meticulous sorting, a long maceration period, and aging in French oak barrels for up to 18 months. 

The style is opulent and rich, with dark fruit, floral, and spice notes and a velvety texture. This wine has an aging potential of 10-15 years, making it an excellent investment for collectors or a special treat for a Pinot Noir wine enthusiast.

Domaine Drouhin Laurene Pinot Noir

ABV: 13.5% to 14.5% | REGION: Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA | PRICE: $60 USD to $80 USD

Domaine Drouhin Laurene Pinot Noir is one of the best pinot noirs due to its location in the Willamette Valley AVA of Oregon, USA, which is famous for producing world-class pinot noir. The grapes for this wine are from several vineyards, including the Laurene Estate, which is planted on volcanic soils. This Willamette Valley pinot noir winery employs a combination of traditional and new winemaking techniques to produce a wine that showcases the terroir.

The wine is aged for 10 months in French oak barrels, with 30% of the barrels being new. The resulting wine has dark fruit, spice, and earth aromas, with a rich and velvety mouthfeel. With its balanced acidity and firm tannins, it has great aging potential and will continue to develop and improve over time.

Penner-Ash Pinot Noir

ABV: 13.5% to 14.5% | REGION: Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA | PRICE: $50 USD to $100 USD

Penner-Ash Pinot Noir is one of the best Pinot Noir wines because of the location of the vineyard and the high-quality fruit it produces, which comes from the Yamhill-Carlton and Ribbon Ridge AVAs of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The winemaking process is done using traditional techniques, with a focus on minimal intervention and careful attention to detail. 

The wine is aged in French oak barrels for up to 11 months, adding complexity and structure to the wine. The resulting wine is complex, balanced, and elegant, with dark fruit and spice aromas and a long, smooth finish. The wine also has excellent aging potential and it can be enjoyed for many years to come.

Bouchard Père & Fils Vigne de l’Enfant Jésus

ABV: 13.5% | REGION: Burgundy, France | PRICE: $100 USD to $200 USD

Bouchard Père & Fils Vigne de l’Enfant Jésus is one of the best Pinot Noir wines due to its exceptional quality and heritage. The wine comes from the renowned Beaune vineyard, with a long history of producing high-quality Pinot Noir. The winemaking process involves using only the best fruit from the vineyard and aging the wine in French oak barrels for 18 months. 

The result is a wine with a rich and complex flavor profile featuring notes of dark fruit, spice, and earthy undertones. The wine also has excellent aging potential and will continue to develop in complexity and depth over the next decade.

Sandhi Bentrock Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

ABV: 12.5% to 14.5% | REGION: Santa Barbara County, California, USA | PRICE: $60 USD to $80 USD

Sandhi Bentrock Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir is considered one of the best to drink due to its exceptional quality, coming from one of the most renowned vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, where the cool climate and oceanic influence provide optimal conditions for growing high-quality Pinot Noir. 

The winemaking process by Sandhi emphasizes minimal intervention and the use of native yeasts, resulting in a wine that expresses the unique character of the vineyard. The wine is stored in French oak barrels, adding a subtle layer of complexity to its bright fruit flavors and floral aromas. 

With its exceptional balance of acidity, tannins, and fruit, the wine has great aging potential and will continue to develop beautifully over time, making it an excellent choice.

FAQs

Where is the best Pinot Noir in the world?

Pinot Noir is grown in various regions around the world, and determining the “best” can be subjective based on personal preference. However, some of the most well-regarded regions for Pinot Noir include Burgundy, France; Willamette Valley, Oregon; Russian River Valley, California; Central Otago, New Zealand; and the Yarra Valley, Australia.

What is a good year for Pinot Noir?

A good year for Pinot Noir can vary depending on the region, but generally, cooler growing seasons with sunny and dry fall weather tend to produce better-quality grapes. Some vintages that are often considered excellent for Pinot Noir include 2005, 2010, and 2012 in Burgundy and 2012, 2014, and 2016 in Oregon. However, it’s worth noting that the quality of a Pinot Noir vintage can also depend on the specific vineyard and winemaking practices used.

How do I find the best Pinot Noir?

In finding the best Pinot Noir, start by looking at regions known for producing high-quality Pinot Noir, such as Burgundy in France, Willamette Valley in Oregon, and Central Otago in New Zealand. Look for well-regarded producers in those regions, and consider factors such as vintage, vineyard site, and winemaking techniques. Tasting different Pinot Noir wines can also help you discover your preferences and identify the best options for you.

Is a 10-year-old Pinot Noir still good?

The age of a Pinot Noir wine depends on the specific wine and how it has been stored. Generally, Pinot Noir wines can age up to 10-15 years and still be good, but this also depends on the vintage, winemaking techniques, and storage conditions. Researching the specific wine and vintage before opening an older bottle is always a good idea to ensure a great pinot noir experience.

Is Pinot Noir sweet?

Pinot Noir is typically not a sweet wine, as it is a dry red wine with low to medium levels of tannins and acidity. However, some Pinot Noir wines can have fruity flavors that may give the impression of sweetness, but this is not due to residual sugar in the wine. So, if you want to drink pinot noir, ensure to serve it slightly below room temperature and with foods that complement its delicate flavor profile, such as grilled salmon, roasted chicken, or mushroom dishes.

References

  1. https://www.sothebys.com/en/articles/5-things-to-know-about-domaine-de-la-romanee-conti-wine
  2. https://pwxchange.com.ph/producer-profile-domaine-comte-georges-de-vogue/
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