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10 Stellar West Coast Pinot Noirs for $30 or Less

By: Tim Fish

January 3, 2022

Pinot Noir requires pampering, both in the vineyard and the winery. It buds early in the growing season, making it susceptible to frost and other vineyard woes, and its grapes are thin-skinned and grouped in tight clusters. In the cellar, fermentation can be tricky too. All that coddling can add up, meaning it can cost a lot to make great Pinot Noir. That’s what makes this week’s selection of new releases all the more appealing. Their prices range from just $14 to $30 per bottle, with scores from 87 to 92 points on Wine Spectator’s 100-point scale. And they all hail from noteworthy regions in Oregon and California, such as Willamette Valley, Russian River Valley, Monterey and Santa Barbara…

Greg Norman Estates
Santa Barbara Pinot Noir 2019

“Terrific concentration, with generous black licorice, Earl Grey, allspice and dark chocolate notes that mingle with cassis, spiced stewed plum and toasted herb details. Shows plenty of harmony on the long, expressive finish, with velvety tannins.”