Going out and seeing the world is an enriching experience. But with dark days and cold weather, do you really want to abandon your blanketed cocoon this time of year? Fortunately, Pinot Noir can allow you to travel the world without leaving your couch or breaking the bank.
These bottles will take you to Austria, California, Chile, France, Italy, New York, New Zealand and Oregon. All 20 Pinot Noirs are perfect for a meal, whether you’re serving classic comfort food or more elaborate dishes.
Pinot Noirs to Try
Stadlmann 2015 Classic Pinot Noir (Thermenregion); $19, 93 points. This wine’s fresh, ripe red cherry and aromatic strawberry touches make for an inviting nose. The palate shows the same intense primary fruit, bolstered by freshness and a fine, filigreed structure. Its supple, pure fruit makes it very enjoyable now, but it’s sure to evolve further with bottle age. Drink now–2025. —Anne Krebiehl, MW
Esterházy 2015 Pinot Noir (Burgenland); $15, 90 points. A gentle hint of soft and mellow vanilla frames the ripe, red-cherry fruit that appears readily on the nose. The palate discloses that same mix of fruit and oak influence, wrapping fresh cherry, both tart and ripe, in a rounded, smooth cloak of smoky vanilla. Tannins are fine and gentle. This wine is both fresh and fruity, with a bright, fresh finish. —A.K.
Pellegrini 2014 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley); $25, 93 points. This is a heck of a value for a wine that would shine no matter its price. Juicy in exuberant red fruit along the lines of cherry, plum and pomegranate, it shares deeper undertones of concentration and richness on the midpalate, with subtle accents of rose, cardamom and dried herb. Editor’s Choice. —Virginie Boone
Jax 2015 Y3 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley); $25, 90 points. Sourced from Dutton Ranch, this well-priced wine provides a great tasting expression of dark, brooding black cherry and full-bodied density, seasoned in black tea and cardamom for added depth and interest. —V.B.
Errazuriz 2015 Pinot Noir (Aconcagua Valley)$25, 91 points. After an initial wave of briny rubbery aromas, this turns towards lively raspberry scents topped by toasty oak. Fresh and punchy in the mouth, with elegance, this tastes of red raspberry and herbal plum. A lightly salty finish with tomato and plum flavors is fresh and lasting. —Michael Schachner
Leyda 2015 Cahuil Single Vineyard Pinot Noir (Leyda Valley); $22, 90 points. There’s something different and appealing about this cool-climate Pinot. For beginners, the nose is savory and meaty-smelling, but offset by fresh strawberry and plum notes. A smooth palate with a touch of buttery oak tastes of savory plum, cherry and spice. A long finish is comfortable on the fade. —M.S.
Valdivieso 2013 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir (Leyda Valley); $25, 90 points. There’s complexity to the nose of this Leyda Valley Pinot courtesy of leather, fresh mushroom and spicy plum aromas. A smooth, elegant palate delivers flavors of earthy plum and spiced black cherry. Mild toast and Middle Eastern spice notes help the finish. —M.S.
Allimant-Laugner 2015 Pinot Noir (Alsace); $17, 90 points. An aromatic hint of pine mixes with the red cherry notes on the nose, creating a very appetizing opening. The ultralight palate is translucent and slender, with the same leafy conifer aromas and lots and lots of red currant brightness and freshness. The light crunchy nature of this wine suggests that this is ideal for chilling. It’s a weightless, very aromatic, and ultra-light-bodied red. —A.K.
Domaine de l’Hermitage 2015 Les Pierres Chaudes (Menetou-Salon); $20, 90 points. This is a smooth wine with soft tannins cushioned by generous fruits. Its red-cherry acidity gives the lightest stalky edge and will allow the wine to age further. The partial barrel aging has added spice. Drink this fine wine from 2019. Editor’s Choice. —Roger Voss
Domaine Rieflé-Landmann 2015 Bonheur Convivial Pinot Noir (Alsace); $20, 90 points. Fresh notes of crunchy red cherry have a spicy edge of pepper. The body of this slender Pinot Noir is very light, totally peppery and very appetizing. The structure is soft and very refreshing. This could also be chilled and is a fabulously light-bodied but sprightly lunch red. The finish is perfectly dry and very enlivening. —A.K.
François Baur 2015 Schlittweg Pinot Noir (Alsace); $19, 90 points. There is a wonderfully heady hint of elderberry on the nose. On the light-footed but structured palate, elderberry is joined by fresh dark-cherry hints. There is something darkly alluring about this. The elderberry lingers on the dry finish. This is lovely now but will develop. Drink now through 2023. —A.K.
Abbazia di Novacella 2015 Pinot Nero (Alto Adige); $21, 91. This 100% Pinot Nero offers enticing aromas of fragrant blue flower, wild red berry and a whiff of baking spice. The sleek savory palate delivers raspberry, green tea, graphite and a white pepper note. Fresh acidity and firm but refined tannins provide balance. Enjoy soon. Editor’s Choice. —Kerin O’Keefe
Cantina Produttori San Michele Appiano 2015 Pinot Nero (Alto Adige); $20, 90 points. This bright wine opens with attractive aromas of red berry and blue flower. The savory palate delivers wild strawberry, red cherry, beet and a hint of mint alongside sleek tannins. Drink soon to enjoy the fresh fruit flavors. —K.O.
Tiefenbrunner 2015 Turmhof Pinot Nero (Alto Adige); $25, 90 points. This 100% Pinot Nero offers intense aromas of red berries and black currants. The elegant palate delivers raspberries, green tea and a hint of cinnamon alongside silky tannins and fresh acidity. Enjoy soon. —K.O.
Thirsty Owl Wine Company 2015 Pinot Noir (Finger Lakes); $18, 91 points. Lavish violet perfume introduces this demure yet luminous Pinot Noir. Crisp black cherry and berry flavors are full of tartness and vibe, yet edged by soft tones of toast and earth, along with a fine frame of tannins. The finish meanders beautifully. It’s ready to drink now but should continue to drink well until at least 2023. —Anna Lee Iijima
Millbrook 2015 Pinot Noir (New York); $23, 90 points. Pristine black cherries and berries extend from nose to finish in this deeply concentrated Pinot Noir. Invigorating acidity and firm grippy tannins accentuate its bold four-square palate. Finishes long, with a delicate murmur of spice and cedar. Drink now through 2025. —A.I.
Eradus 2015 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir (Awatere Valley); $24, 92 points. Aromas of ripe raspberry, chocolate, black olive, and green herbs all combine in this well put together wine. The palate is taut and focused, with silky tannins, mouth-watering acidity and a long herbal finish. Tightly wound, this is best sipped with food or a few years of bottle age. Drink now–2024. —Christina Pickard
The Crossings 2015 Pinot Noir (Awatere Valley); $19, 91 points. A medley of ripe raspberry, cherry, chocolate, cola, wet earth, baking spices and herbs all play together in this medium-bodied wine. Silky tannins and a slippery texture harmonize on the palate, with a final herbaceous note that lingers. Drink now–2020. —C.P.
Apolloni 2015 L Cuvée Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley); $22, 91 points. This elegant wine appeals from the first sniff to the last lingering flavors. Vibrant in color, it tastes of rose petals, raspberries and cocoa powder. Supple and balanced, it shows impressive structure and length, with hints of citrus. Drink now through the mid-2020’s. Editor’s Choice. —Paul Gregutt
Broadley 2015 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley); $18, 91 points. Certainly a remarkable value, this brings concentrated flavors of ripe raspberry and cherry liqueur into a big, broad and deep midpalate. The exuberance and depth of fruit is astonishing, and the balancing acidity suggests that the wine will retain its freshness through 2020 and beyond. This is one to buy by the case. Editor’s Choice. —P.G.