Pinot noir recommendations?

I want to get a friend a nice bottle of pinot noir (his favorite) as a gift. I’ll spend in the $25 range. I don’t drink red wines and know very little about them, so I have no clue what to get. What is your favorite pinot noir?


I like the Oregon ones very much. Good marks include Knudsen Erath and their relatives (I think they have a range of different marks now). . . oh, Duck Pond, Amity, Ravensomething. . . most of them are fine, really. Willamette Valley stuff-- so wineries around Dundee, Amity, Carleton, Newburg, McMinnville, etc.

Oregon Pinots are very good, Benton Lane being one of my favorites. La Crema does a great Pinot for those who prefer their reds to have some hefty but well-structured tannins to them.

If you can find it though, look for Gravitas from New Zealand; at about $25.99 usually, it’s far and away the best red I’ve had in the $20-40 range.

Adelsheim is a great, IMO, Willamette Pinot. I think it was a 2004 that I had that was so good.

I’ve had something called “Firehorse” or “Firesteed” that was about a $20 bottle that I liked.

Those are all Oregon, but there are some beauties from California, too.

Yay for Oregon! Represent.

I had a bottle of Duck Pond a couple weeks ago, and it was really, really good.

Witness Tree is also fantastic, but it may be slightly out of your price range (I think around $35/bottle).

Try Fess Parker, especially the “Ashley’s Vineyard.” Delicious!

For some in your price range, I think David Bruce and La Crema are pretty nice Pinots. They are two of my favorites when ordering wine by the glass. Good wine, good value.

Most of my faves are just out of your price range though, and just keep going up every year.

My absolute favorite is Merry Edwards (Russian River Valley). Her Pinot Noirs are just about my favorite wines, period.

Others that you really can’t go wrong with (just about any of their Pinot Noirs, most of them have several; clones, vineyard designates, etc.), these are standards on my rack:

Rochioli (Russian River Valley)
Hartford (Russian River Valley)
Russian Hill (Russian River Valley)
(I’m kind of spoiled by and obviously favor the RRV, I work here and can pick up the wines at the wineries at a nice discount.)
Melville (Central Coast)
Byron (Santa Maria Valley)

I tend to like my Pinot Noir a little more lush, fruity, and bold, and I think all of those wines reflect that.

A second for Erath. It’s the only Noir I really enjoy.