Top Ten Pinot Noirs of 2016

I tend to taste and drink a lot of wine over the course of a year. I am in a few tasting groups, sometimes the wines are consumed at various local wine store tastings and a number drunk with friends and family.

2005 François Raquillet Mercurey 1er Cru Les Naugues, France, Burgundy, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

This wine is pretty much at peak at this point but drinking quite well.  Pop and pour and it was drinking from the get go.  Purple in color with a slight ruby line at the rim.  The nose has cherries, a slight funk and just a hint of aquarium water.  It is better on the palate and more fresh.  juicy cherries with some complexity.  An underlying earthiness though clean.  The fruit is ripe.  No tannins.  While it drinks well on its own, it would be better with some medium or lighter fare.  The fruit is fresh enough to stand up to some spice as well.  These should be drunk up in the next few ye

2011 Claude Dugat Gevrey-Chambertin, France, Burgundy, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$99.00USD

Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has macerated cherries with a slight Burgundy funk.  This wine is still youthful and needs some time to develop.  it unwinds slowly in the glass as the nose gets more pronounced.  On the palate, there are slight tannins.  Nice red cherry fruit.  Deep but needs air/time to show its complexity.  With air a nice spice quality comes out on the finish.  This wine really begs for food and should pair nicely with a wide variety of foods.  It should peak in about five more years and be good for a decade after that.  

NV Cheurlin-Panfilo Champagne Le Medaillon, France, Wine Review

Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

Opened by a friend to celebrate another friends birthday.  70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay.  Light golden in color.  A nice head with lots of smallish bubbles.  The nose is nice with burnt hay and slight citrus.  On the palate, there is some citrus and minerals.  Long finish.  Good acidity.  This is very food friendly and will work with a wide variety of foods.  

NV Wolfberger Crémant d'Alsace Brut Rosé, France, Alsace, Wine Review

Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$16.00USD

Made from 100% Pinot Noir.  Salmon pink in color.  Head has larger bubbles. The nose is nice with strawberries and slight apple notes.  A bit lean and crisp.  On the palate, flavors of strawberries continue thru along with some watermelon.  There is a slight bitterness on the mid-palate.  Overall, this drinks easy.  Worked well with some cheeses.  Made a nice starter at a party.

NV Nicolas Maillart Champagne Premier Cru Brut Platine, France, Wine Review

Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$36.00USD

This is a nice value in 1er Cru Champagne.  It drinks very well right now.  Light golden in color with a nice head of small bubbles.  The nose is nice with a green apple note along with some faint toast qualities.  In general, this is more on the austere side of Champagne which is not a bad thing.  Plenty of acidity.  Long finish.  This was served to friends at the start of the evening along side some roasted chick peas and that proved a fine pairing a great start to the evening.  I don't think this will improve and these bottles, purchased in the last year, should be drunk in the next year

2008 Rhys Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

Since these wines first came out, it has always been an open question how well they would age.  At age 11, this one is doing great.  Drinking quite young but quite well.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose is great with cherries, slight spice, black cherries, and very slight cola note.  On the palate, this is young but delicious.  Shows depth but tight.  Plenty of cherries and black cherry fruit.  Great balance.  Drink now or should hold for another ten or fifteen years, depending what you like in a Pinot.  Will work with a wide variety of food.  

2005 Dominique Laurent Clos de la Roche, France, Burgundy, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$200.00USD

Nice to revisit this wine.  It had been about 4 years since it was last tried and it hasn't really changed.  It is open and drinking quite well.  This is a big wine that one might peg for California if drinking blind.  Of course, 2005 was an excellent and ripe vintage.  Vibrant garnet in color.  The nose is dusty, slightly earthy with nice cherries and a bit of plums.  What a lovely texture.  Soft yet structured at the same time.  On the palate, layers of cherries, slight smoke and earthiness.  Nice acidity.  Long finish.  This would pair with everything from hearty seafood to a steak.  No

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