Which Winery

Spring Clean Your Palate
with California Pinot Noir

by Jyll Jara, WSET II

Spring is the perfect time to transition from the “bigger-bolder” red wines, and indulge in a food friendly, lighter bodied red wine.  In keeping with our “Spring Clean your Palate” theme of recognizable varietals, we are now delving into the wondrous world of CA Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is a complex and sensitive grape, which under proper care can produce one of the most sensual and amazing of wines. Pinot Noir in CA however, can run the gamut in style & texture profiles. I have focused more on the classic CA Pinot Noir producers, sprinkled with a couple of “New CA”; all of which have chosen to hold steadfast in producing Pinot Noir as the nuanced, subtle-yet-powerful wine it is truly meant represent.


Calera, Jensen, Pinot Noir, 2012, Mt. Harlan

Aromas of cherry, raspberry, red licorice, and leather. Excellent combination of deep fruit and minerality.
via WhichWinery.com

Roast Quail with Rosemary Garlic Fried Polenta and Crispy Brussels Sprout Chips

via the saucysoutherner.com


Au Bon Climat, “Runway Vineyard”, 2013 Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley

“Au Bon Climat” translates to “a well exposed vineyard”. Only 100 cases are produced of this rich and distinct Pinot Noir.
via WhichWinery.com

Classic Beef Bourguignon

via marthastewart.com


Cobb, Coastlands Vineyard, 2013, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

Coastal aromas of pine and forest floor with hints of cherry and orange spice.
via WhichWinery.com

Veal Chops with Morels, Wilted Lettuce, Oysters, and Garlic-Parmesan Sauce

via saveur.com


Failla, 2012, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

This approachable wine is an excellent introduction into the wonderful possibilities of crafted CA Pinot Noir. Aromas of licorice, cherry, spice, and red berry.
via WhichWinery.com

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Cherries and Shallots

via myrecipes.com


Mount Eden Vineyards, Estate Pinot Noir, 2012, Santa Cruz Mountains

Mount Eden Vineyards can accurately refer to themselves as “CA’s original Boutique Winery”. They have an incredible history, and wines to match. Classic aromas of earth, raspberry, cardamom and toasty oak.
via WhichWinery.com

Duck Confit Crostini with Pickled Cherries and Duck Cracklings

via bonappetit.com


Littorai, “Mays Canyon”, 2011, Pinot Noir, Russian River

Littorai is undeniably one of the best producers of CA Pinot Noir. If you are fortunate enough to happen upon a bottle, do yourself a favor and please do not hesitate. Blueberries, huckleberries, and perfectly balanced acidity. With age, more spice tones will appear.
via WhichWinery.com

Chimichurri Grilled Elk Steak

via outdoorchannel.com





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