15 Best Affordable Pinot Noir
2014 The Pinot Project California Pinot Noir ($12)
An impressive effort from wine importer Michael Skurnik’s Pinot-centric label: Russian River Valley–like character (cherry cola, spice) at a third the cost.
2014 Union Wine Company Underwood Pinot Noir ($14)
This peppery red from winemaker JP Caldcleugh uses grapes from vineyards across Oregon.
2014 Buena Vista North Coast Pinot Noir ($15)
Buena Vista founder Agoston Haraszthy, who first made wine here in 1857, would have been pleased with this ripe but finely balanced effort.
2015 Fowles Wine Farm to Table Pinot Noir ($15)
Chewy raspberry fruit and spice notes from Australia’s premier Pinot-growing region, Victoria, make this red a great bottling to seek out.
2013 Oatley Family Wild Oats Edna Valley Pinot Noir ($15)
The Oatley family may be Australian (Robert Oatley, who passed away earlier this year, started Rosemount), but lately they’ve been sourcing grapes on California’s Central Coast. This fragrant wine tells you why.
2014 Garnet Vineyards Monterey County Pinot Noir ($16)
Fruit from cool benchland vineyards makes for a (not too) juicy red with a light spearmint note.
2013 La Follette North Coast Pinot Noir ($17)
Though the label uses the broad North Coast appellation, Russian River Valley fruit is the core of this crisp red.
2014 Trinity Hill Hawkes Bay Pinot Noir ($17)
New Zealand may be known for Sauvignon Blanc, but it makes top Pinots, too. Trinity Hill’s savory bottling is one to look for.
2014 Erath Oregon Pinot Noir ($18)
Cherry fruit and light tea-leaf aromas make this red from one of Oregon’s first wineries distinctly compelling.
2014 Cameron Hughes Lot 527 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir ($18)
Anderson Valley’s cool climate gives this supple California wine an aromatic red fruit character that’s hard not to like.
2014 Broadley Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($20)
Longtime Oregon producer Broadley Vineyards is known for pricey, single-vineyard wines; for a sense of the winery’s style, try this silky cuvée.
2014 Johanneshof Reinisch Pinot Noir ($20)
Austrian Pinot Noir? Why not, if this minty, elegant wine is any example. Johanneshof Reinisch, the winery that made it, lies about 20 miles south of Vienna, at the foot of the Eastern Alps.
2014 Montinore Estate Red Cap Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($20)
The labor-intensive biodynamic farming approach Montinore uses typically results in much pricier wines.
2014 Olema Sonoma County ($20)
Russian River and Sonoma Coast grapes combine to give this Pinot bright acidity and (helped by a bit of French-oak aging) appealing spice notes.
2014 Taken Wine Company Complicated Pinot Noir ($20)
Rich, even luscious, this Sonoma Coast Pinot nevertheless comes off as perfectly poised. Cool vineyard sites and the talents of Taken’s winemaker, Josh Phelps, no doubt are responsible.