Cellar Talk

Penny-Wise Pinots

Our wine critic says spend $20, be richly rewarded

By Condé Cox February 12, 2009 Published in the March 2009 issue of Seattle Met

Making pinot noir is expensive. Here’s why: Pinot has plenty of flavor and complexity, yet often looks only remotely like red wine. This is thanks to lightly colored, thin-skinned grapes that need a cool climate like the Pacific Northwest, especially west of the Cascades, to mature. The best pinots are always grown in low yields; wine makers thin the crops so that grapes ripen before autumn rains set it. A lower yield means a higher cost. But value pinots do exist: These are worth every penny.—Condé Cox

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