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New-Style Pinot Noir - $30 Max

Hello Hounds,

I just posted this and lost it, so I hope it doesn't show up twice.

Anyway, I am looking for a fruit forward (but not cloying) pinot noir for everyday drinking that doesn't cost a fortune. With Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge in my mind, I have tried quite a few pinot noirs under $30 and nothing has satisfied the craving. Either there is no fruit or it has no finish, or it just doesn't taste like a pinot. I just ordered Bookster, in the $20s, but haven't tried it yet. Most I have tried are from California and Oregon. I do enjoy Burgundies new and old (love H. Lignier, Dominique Laurent), but cannot afford those wines for every day.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. If you live in NYC, and know where to find your recs, please include the shop info too.

Thanks Everyone!!

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  1. Try the real thing, but from one of the "minor" appelations.
    My favorite is Monthelie.
    wine-searcher.com shows lots of Monthelies available in NY under $30, from Chteau de Puligny-Montrachet, Bouchard, Garaudet, &etc.

    1. I just tried Bourgogne en Montre Cul, Regis Bouvier. $24, I believe. Imported by Kermit Lynch. Fruit forward .

      1. You might try looking at New Zealand (Saint Clair, Schubert and Akarua are three producers whose wines I've liked in recent vintages), Tasmania (Pipers Brook, Tamar Ridge, Pirie) and mainland Australia (Coldstream Hills, Scotchmans Hill).

        1. Here's some of our favorites for under $30:
          Alma Rosa, Sanford, Foxen, Fiddlehead, Foley, Gainey, Lafond, Fess Parker, Hitching Post, Taz, Melville, Siduri, etc. A lot of the Santa Rita Hills producers are making something similar to what you are looking for IMHO.

          As far as Oregon goes, I think you are going to find that those are more styled after Burgundy, and will be less fruit forward, however, if you can find IRIS, this is a great fruit forward pinot for about $20. It's become a staple in our home, and we absolutely love it for the money. Remember, it is called IRIS, not "Iris Hill," which is another produce or Oregon pinot noir. See this wine on CellarTracker here: http://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp...

          Hope that helps. Cheers! -mJ

          1. I have really been enjoying Boedecker Cellar's pinots. They are from oregon and make 2 signature wines, one being more "new" world style (the Athena) and the other more "old" world (the Stewart). Both are great. $34/btl, but they have a 10% case discount.

              1. re: MDub

                This one is right at $30---made by the founder of Sanford back in the day:

                Alma Rosa "Santa Rita Hills" Pinot Noir

                1. re: baron45

                  Love the '06 Sanford and it is drinking nice early. Better than the '05 in my opinion, and almost as good as the '04. -mJ

              2. Ric mentioned the Monthelie appelation in Burgundy, and they do tend to be early-maturing. But you still might not be able to enjoy them immediately upon bringing them home from the store. I had the 2002 Bouchard Monthelie a couple weeks ago. It was drinking fairly well, but will drink better in another year or two.

                nj mentioned Sanford (among others). That's a solid rec for "everyday" drinking. Ditto Saintsbury. Ditto Domaine Carneros. From Oregon, I really advocate for Evesham Wood. It will drink well when opened after buying, and can also age well. It will be less fruit forward, but still quite approachable.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Brad Ballinger

                  Thanks for the great recs. I am intrigued by the Monthelies. I'll do some research on which years to drink now. I am guessing the older ones will cost a bit more. It would be great to find affordable burgundy (under $30) that tastes good (instead of just buying a name for a lot of money). The Iris and the Chilean wine sound amazing from the tasting notes too. If I can't find them locally, I will try to order online. I am going to keep my eye out for the Santa Rita area pinots in general. Heard New Zealand pinots were good, but the ones I have seen were pricey. Tomorrow I am taking this list and going shopping.

                  1. re: doughreme

                    The 2006 Monthelie from Chateau de Puligny-Montrachet is drinking pretty damn lovely right now....matter of fact the 2005 is closing a bit so the 2006 is drinking better

                2. For something a little different, try a Sancerre Rouge. It's riper and less expensive than Burgundy (it's also pinot noir). I was going to recommend Chambers Street Wine but I did a search of their Web site and none showed up. I'd still go in there, act shocked when you can't find it and shame them into telling you the best places in New York for it.
                  While you're there at Chambers Street, buy a good Cru Beaujolais. A Morgon, a Fleurie, a Moulin-a-Vent. Specifically, for instance, a LaPierre. You might find something you like.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: SteveTimko

                    Good suggestion. Nice ones available @ K&L ( sorry right coasters...! ):

                    2007 Franck Millet Sancerre Rouge $16.99
                    2006 Gerard Boulay Sancerre Chavignol Rouge $23.99
                    2005 Lucien Crochet Sancerre Rouge Croix du Roy $31.99

                    1. re: RicRios

                      The Millet I believe is a direct import so K&L might be the only place that has it in the United States.
                      Go to wine-searcher.com and type in sancerre rouge and you'll get some hits in New York and New Jersey.

                    2. re: SteveTimko

                      ought we not at least note that (and I agree with your suggestion) that Beaujolias is typically Gamay and not Pinot Noir?

                    3. I've no idea if it's available in NYC, but Navarro makes some good pinot noir, with a few bottlings under $30. No surprise, the more expensive ones are better than the cheaper ones.

                      I know a while back they were offering free shipping, so that could be an option. Other than Navarro, most of the new world Pinot I buy is in the $30+ range

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: SteveG

                        Navarro currently is shipping for 1 cent for a case.

                        1. re: SteveG

                          I just checked their website and yes, the shipping is 1 cent (free). Which ones do you recommend? They have two 2006 pinot noirs under $30. One is 19 from Mendocino and the other is 29 described as Méthode à l'Ancienne (obviously old).

                          1. re: doughreme

                            I haven't tasted the current releases, so I couldn't really say. The Ancienne is probably more complex with more French oak made in a more traditional style.

                            1. re: SteveG

                              When I tasted PN's at Navarro a few years ago, the Methode a L'Ancienne was much superior to the other at about the same price.

                        2. Miolo Pinot Noir 07 is really nice, $10. From Brazil. Try it!

                          2 Replies
                          1. Witness Tree makes one in the mid 20s, iirc, that we're very fond of.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: PolarBear

                              Witness Tree is one of my Oregon favorites but the fruit-forward'ness' of their pinot varies by vintage due to weather. I began with their 03 and it was very fruit forward (later learned that was a very warm year).04 & 05 were much more 'old world' (a cooler year). I actually called the winery when I tried the '04 because it was so different. Both were good, and both may be to your liking, but some vintages are definitely more 'new-world'.

                              1. re: Midlife

                                Thanks, Midlife, sounds like it'd be fun to do a vertical tasting. A few years back we did a cross tasting of their different offerings and were surprised that we all agreed that we liked the least expensive bottling the best. Will keep your vintage notes in mind from now on.

                                1. re: PolarBear

                                  The owners are originally from a SoCal city where I owned a wine shop so I was very much aware of them through locals here. I have a magnum of the '03 regular bottling they gave me when we opened and was just thinking it's getting close to time to open it. I have tried their reserve and agree with you.

                            2. if you can find some, try the Andrew Rich Cuvee "B" Willamette Valley. I was able to pcik some up for under $20 and it is IMHO a very good QPR

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: ibstatguy

                                Try the Bearboat 2006 Pinot Noir....good fruit & length....a bargain!


                                1. re: drumwine

                                  If you are looking for a CA Pinot Noir of that type and that price range, that should be readily available, try Cuvaison PN Carneros, DeLoach RRV, Beringer Napa Valley, or the Acacia Carneros. For even less expensive, try the most recent Castle Rock Monterey County. It should be available for less than $15. Of course Castle Rock varies from year to year, but the '06 and '07s are not bad.

                                  The '07 Siduri Sonoma County is a killer for about $22, but it is hard to get in NYC as they only made a little over 1000 cases of it.

                                  1. re: dinwiddie

                                    Hi from Portland. I can't speak for what's available in NYC, but here are some of my recent OR faves for under $26:
                                    Witness Tree
                                    Stoller '06
                                    Elk Cove '07
                                    Erath '07
                                    Carlo & Julian '07
                                    '07 tends to be more fruit forward than '05-'07.

                                    1. re: Leonardo

                                      Enjoyed DeLoach Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2006 last night. Flavours of sweetened rhubarb and milk chocolate with hints of lead pencil and cinnamon. paired well with pork tenderloin, penne in a butter/garlic sauce and green beans. Believe it retails for around $20 in most of the US.

                              2. Try Alexander Valley Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir. Small production (only 7 acres planted along the Russian River) aged in French oak and very burgundian in style. More like an Oregon PN than California. Lots of cherry flavors, a litlle plum, nutmeg and good acidity. It is available in NY and is being poured by the glass at the Monkey Bar on E 64th St.. You might not see it often on retail shelves, but if you ask they can get it. (note: I work for AVV)