10 West Coast Pinot Noirs for Galentine’s Day

People with glasses of Pinot Noir
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Originating from the hit television series Parks and Recreation, Galentine’s Day, or the day before Valentine’s Day, is when fictional character Leslie Knope unites her gal-pals over brunch in celebration of the amazing women in her life.

Or, in Knope’s own words, “Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.”

Whether your celebration includes frittatas or not, good wine is a must (more tips on pairing wine with eggs here). So, grab a bottle from California or Oregon, where Pinot Noir thrives on the U.S. West Coast.

How Rosé Champagne is Made

Center of Effort 2015 Pinot Noir (Edna Valley); $50, 96 points. Dark raspberry, packed lilacs, crushed lavender and a hint of game make for a powerful yet elegant nose. The palate is framed by strong, silty and grippy tannins, with zippy acidity that delivers flavors of black raspberry, pepper spice and roasted boar. —Matt Kettmann

Leitmotif 2016 Duvarita Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara County); $46, 95 points. This is a phenomenal start for the small-batch side project by Stephen Searle, whose main job is running Jaffurs Winery. Intense aromas of Bing cherry jelly, crushed rocks and dried sage show on the nose, while the palate combines wild berry and minty flavors with a strong chalky grip, proving both luxurious and refreshing. —M.K.

Sineann 2017 Yates Conwill Vineyard Pinot Noir (Yamhill-Carlton); $42, 94 points. This outstanding value showcases the fruit from a vineyard adjacent to Jadot’s Résonance vineyard. It’s an under-the-radar site beautifully expressed here by winemaker Peter Rosback. Densely packed with strawberry and cherry fruit, it’s textural, deep and long, wrapping up in a tight citrus-framed finish. Drink now and over the next decade. Cellar Selection. —Paul Gregutt

Friedeman 2016 UV Lancel Creek Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley); $60, 94 points. Soft and nicely integrated, this full-bodied wine is robustly built yet sublime in its grasp of firm tannin and fresh acidity. Flavors of raspberry, cherry, mint and an earthy forest floor component complement each other well. —Virginie Boone

Owen Roe 2016 Sojourner Vineyard Pinot Noir (Eola-Amity Hills); $42, 93 points. A lush and textured wine, this suggests strawberry compote and cherry pie in the nose, with ripe fruit flavors to follow. Threaded with sandalwood and graphite streaks, its balanced ripe tannins carry a finishing flicker of mocha. Editors’ Choice. —P.G.

Failla 2016 Björnson Vineyard Pinot Noir (Eola-Amity Hills); $45, 93 points. Another in a series of single-vineyard offerings from Ehren Jordan, this shows earthy richness and brambly strawberry and raspberry fruit. It’s pretty and complex, with the sort of elegant density that promises further development over the next decade or longer. Editors’ Choice. —P.G.

Black Kite 2016 River Turn Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley); $60, 93 points. Long on flavor and complexity, this full-bodied wine bursts with black-cherry, black-tea and redwood-forest aromas, before flooding the palate with delicious, just-ripe fruit flavors that come with a nicely gripping texture due to fine-grained tannins and medium to full body. —Jim Gordon

Cramoisi 2016 Sofia’s Block Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills); $62, 93 points. Drawing upon young vines planted in 2012, this all-Dijon clone wine shows amazing length and strength. Mixed berry fruit flavors are rich and juicy, while the overall balance is supple and refreshing. There’s a burst of spice as it trails in a finish elevated with flavors of blood orange. —P.G.

Williams Selyem 2016 Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley); $65, 93 points. A deep color, gorgeous fruit aromas and mouthfilling richness make this full-bodied wine memorable. The aromas show everything from strawberry syrup to sour cherries to cinnamon, while the flavors are fully ripe without seeming fat or sweet. —J.G.

MacPhail 2016 Toulouse Vineyard Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley); $55, 92 points. Full bodied and very plush in texture, this supersmooth wine starts with aromas of cooked cherries and plums, moves to richer, sweet-seeming strawberries and red cherries on the palate while it coats the tongue and sides of the mouth with an appealing, creamy texture. —J.G.

Published on February 13, 2019
Topics: Wine and Ratings


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