good article on california pinot noir

in the New York Times.

Really, the difference being described here is very tangible. I’ve tried a few of these, and I’ve been making an effort to find California pinot noirs with that classic sort of elegance–really, there’s nothing better that I’ve tasted than wine with those qualities–and I’ve found a few, at varying but generally high levels of cost.

One that I thought was really beautiful was the Nicholson Ranch pinot noir. You can get that for about $40. It was the 2006, I think.

Even more beautiful, and more complex (and twice as expensive, but worth it worth it worth it), was the Littorai pinot noir, also 2006, from their Summa vineyard. It’s not their most prestigious vineyard, and I haven’t tasted those, but this one was so good I got tongue-tied trying to describe it. It had everything. It’s on the list at work for $145, and I hear it’s on the Internets for somewhere around $80-90. Definitely not cheap, considering you can get some badass Burgundies for that money–Gevrey-Chambertin, Aloxe-Corton, Nuits St. George, and all of it premier cru–but if you decide to go for it, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Take the time to savor every drop, because it’s damn hard to fine better wine.

–DF

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