10 of Our Favorite Pinot Noirs From California’s Russian River Valley

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The Russian River Valley is a world-famous subappellation of the greater Sonoma County American Viticultural Area (AVA) that produces some of the top Pinot Noirs in the country. Thanks to cooling fog that rolls off the Pacific and well-draining Goldridge soils, the Pinots from this area are often elegant in stature, rich in fruit and dotted with earthy complexity.

Within the region there are six distinct neighborhoods (Middle Reach, Santa Rosa Plains, Laguna Ridge, Green Valley, Sebastopol Hills and Eastern Hill) which each have unique microclimates, vineyard aspects and soil types that provide an array of Russian River Pinot expressions. While prices can soar in this category, there is still great value to be found.

Check out these 10 Pinot Noirs from California’s famed Russian River Valley.

A Six-Bottle Master Class to Pinot Noir

Amici 2018 Reserve Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley); $75, Total Wine & More. This is an outstanding, full-bodied and reserve-worthy red, tightly structured in layers of black cherry, plum and forest… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW

Bucher 2018 Bucher Vineyard Pommard Clone Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley); $55, Vivino. Earthy in black tea and a funk of forest and rose petal, this estate wine is from three blocks planted to the Pommard clone… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW

Gary Farrell 2018 Rochioli Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley); $80, Wine-searcher. This plush expression shows an elegant mix of pomegranate and rhubarb. Bright and energetic… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW

Joseph Jewell 2018 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley); $40, Vivino. Smooth and seductive, with a juicy core of black cherry and strawberry, this wine is balanced and earthy… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW

Lynmar Estate 2019 Young Vines Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley); $65, Vivino. This wine offers nicely balanced characteristics of dried herb, sage and slate, which complement the wild-strawberry and pomegranate… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW

MacRostie 2018 Thale’s Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley); $59, Vivino. Beautifully aromatic, this wine has lovely layers of cherry, plum and raspberry that meet a continuum of slate and baking spice… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW

Merry Edwards 2019 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley); $60, Vivino. A hint of stemmy earthiness leads the way to a luxurious, expansive and velvety palate. The acidity is edgy and fresh… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW 

Senses 2019 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley); $55, Total Wine & More. Seamless, earthy and stemmy, this is a wine of moderate heft and length, a divine showing for the appellation… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW

Sojourn 2019 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley); $45, Vivino or Wine.com. Inviting aromatics of cherry and strawberry layer over rich oak tones and baking spice, as the wine was made in a generous style… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW

The Calling 2018 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley); $37, Vivino. High-toned acidity boosts a tannic midpalate of grippy intensity and oak in this appellation wine… SEE SCORE AND FULL REVIEW

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Published on January 26, 2022
Topics: Buying Guide