Californian Pinot Noir can be good, sometimes very good. But affordable and good value, that’s more of an issue. Indeed, other than Burgundy and New Zealand, and the odd Aussie Victoria vintage, the cooler sites of Sonoma and Sonoma Coast are one of the few alternative regions capable of making some incredibly impressive and expressive Pinot Noir.
This beautiful Migration Pinot has been establishing itself over the past few vintages, as a very strong performer at a very reasonable, affordable price point for top Pinot (think £35-£38 per bottle).
Duckhorn’s Migration Russian River Pinot Noir 2014, Sonoma County, 14.5 Abv.
This has a classic Sonoma Russian River nose of earthy black berry, bramble berry fruits and a sappy, meaty, savoury, cooler climate spicy aromatic profile. In its youth, there is dusty choc mocha and plenty of oak spice. The palate is finely balanced showing creamy strawberry confit and raisined cherries. From a drought vintage, there is fine acid freshness but also massive fruit concentration and length. But unlike similar styled vintages, there is very little alcohol lift despite the 14.5 Abv. Full-bodied yet gorgeously pure and complex, this is a very fine effort from Duckhorn Wine Company. Drink now to 2025+.
(Wine Safari Score: 93/100 Greg Sherwood MW)