Pinot Noir gains its name and reputation as one of the trickiest grapes to grow from its dark, thin skin. Native to Burgundy, the variety is susceptible to infection and disease, and thrives in cool-climate regions. At its best, the variety produces lithe, easy-drinking reds that can rank among the most complex and ethereal wines in the world.
Pinot Noir’s profile typically leans into tart and fruity or earthy and savory, with hints of umami. In high-quality examples, the light-bodied red serves both. Following a tasting of more than 250 bottles at the VinePair HQ, the following 25 wines highlight everything that should be celebrated about Pinot Noir.
With origins ranging from Patagonia, Argentina to the Petaluma Gap in Sonoma County, here are the 25 best Pinot Noirs to drink in 2022.
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Alma de Cattleya Pinot Noir 2019
Made from sourced grapes grown on the Sonoma Coast and in the Russian River Valley, this is a perfumed and floral California Pinot Noir. Fermented in open-top, stainless steel tanks, the wine spends over a year in French oak before release. Ripe strawberries on the palate are encased by juicy acidity and velvet tannins. Average price: $31. Rating: 93.
Aniello 006 Riverside Estate Pinot Noir 2019
Patagonia, Argentina’s southernmost wine region, has made a name for itself as the nation’s premier location for Pinot Noir. From the Upper Río Negro Valley subregion, this wine is fermented in concrete tanks using indigenous and selected yeasts, and some of the wine rests in oak for a year prior to blending and bottling. Juicy, with attractive cherry and cranberry notes, this budget bottle makes for a wonderful everyday wine. Average price: $17. Rating: 89.
Archery Summit Arcus Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019
Planted in the early 1970s, Arcus vineyard is the oldest growing site at Oregon’s Archery Summit, and provides all of the grapes for this wine. The winemaking team leaves no stone unturned during vinification, opting for stainless steel, concrete, and wooden vessels for fermentation. The result is a focused and precise Pinot Noir, with standout notes of dried red flowers, tart brambly fruit, and a hint of graphite. This easily ranks among the best American Pinot Noirs you will taste this year. Average price: $125. Rating: 95.
Balletto Sexton Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019
A single vineyard bottling from the Russian River Valley, this indigenous yeast–fermented Pinot Noir is aged in French oak barrels, around one-third of which are first use. The oak aging adds intensity to its perfumed aromas, and works seamlessly with its fruity palate. Feel free to chill this bottle prior to drinking. Average price: $52. Rating: 90.
Buena Vista Winery North Coast Pinot Noir 2018
Buena Vista’s roots run deep in the history of American winemaking, and this affordable Pinot Noir lives up to the producer’s legacy. Made using sourced grapes from vineyards in the Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Valley, and Carneros, the wine ages for seven months in a mix of American, French, and Hungarian oak. Its tart red berry aromas are vibrant, while the palate is lithe, refreshingly acidic, and finishes with a kiss of oak. Average price: $16. Rating: 89.
Crossbarn Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2019
Produced from fruit sourced across multiple vineyards within the Sonoma Coast appellation, this wine sees native yeast fermentation and nine months aging in mainly used barrels. What it perhaps lacks in complexity, Crossbarn’s Pinot more than makes up for with its exceptional balance of fruit, acidity, and oak, and its approachable profile. Average price: $37. Rating: 89.
Cuvaison Estate Pinot Noir 2019
From Los Carneros in Napa Valley, this 14.4 percent ABV Pinot Noir ages for 11 months in French oak (33 percent new). While the alcohol content appears heady, it’s barely perceptible in the finished wine, which instead displays Pinot Noir’s dual fruity and earthy personalities. Raspberries and rhubarb shine on the nose, while the palate dances between damp earth and racy acidity. Average price: $42. Rating: 95.
Domaine Carneros Estate Pinot Noir 2019
Domaine Carneros is known for making some of the United States’ best sparkling wines, but this release proves the property is just as proficient at still Pinot Noir production. Twenty different clones contribute to this bottling, which displays bold fruit character (think ripe blueberries and cherry liqueur), a well-rounded palate, and supple tannins. Pair with roasted chicken or pan fried salmon. Average price: $45. Rating 90.
Emeritus Vineyards Hallberg Ranch Pinot Noir 2018
Located in the Russian River Valley, the Hallberg Ranch vineyard that provides the fruit for this wine contains 11 different Pinot Noir clones. The grapes are fermented using indigenous yeasts, and the wine is aged for 10 months in mainly used French oak. Expressive and inviting, its aromas span cranberries and cola to savory mushrooms and earth. Racy acidity keeps each sip refreshing, but doesn’t distract from its lean fruit character. Average price: $48. Rating: 91.
EnRoute Pinot Noir Russian River Valley “Les Pommiers” 2019
Arriving at 14.5 percent ABV, this is another high alcohol California Pinot Noir that manages to deliver balance and vibrant acidity. Aged for 10 months in French oak (36 percent new, 64 percent used), sweet vanilla aromas join juicy raspberry notes, and hints of cola spices. A crack of pepper on the finish adds another layer of complexity to this age-worthy red. Average price: $60. Rating: 90.
Ernest Vineyards Cleary Freestone Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019
From one of the coolest areas of the Sonoma Coast, this Pinot Noir clocks in at a quaffable 12.7 percent ABV. Aged for 18 months in a mix of 500 liter barrels and 228 liter new French oak casks, the wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered. Its aromatic profile lands on the savory end of the spectrum, while the oak influence is subtle and seamless. On the palate, tart blackberries intertwine with racy acidity and subtle tannins. Average price: $58. Rating: 96.
Fort Ross Pinot Noir Fort Ross Vineyard 2018
Grown on Fort Ross’ mountain vineyard, which overlooks the Sonoma coast, this wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered following 10 months in French oak. The oak influence is subtle, with earthy, violet petal aromas opening the nose, and vibrant red plums popping up on the palate. With delicate minerality, this is an elegant and refined Pinot Noir. Average price: $52. Rating: 91.
Gran Moraine Yamhill-Carlton Pinot Noir 2019
From the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, this wine has an attractively low alcohol content for American Pinot Noir (13 percent ABV) and is a great representation of what to expect from the variety when it’s grown in Oregon. Aromas run fruity and savory, with a defining seasoning of cinnamon and anise. The palate is light, bright, and exceptionally dry — in contrast to some of the juicier bottles on this list. Average price: $50. Rating: 90.
Hamacher Pinot Noir 2017
Eight Willamette Valley vineyards provide the fruit for this soft and fruity Pinot Noir. Its nose begins with a whiff of black cherries, and just the slightest hint of oak. That profile continues onto the palate, joined by a suggestion of umami. The wine has a viscous texture that amplifies the concentration of fruit. Pair with pan roasted pork loin or a bumper garden salad. Average price: $60. Rating: 95.
Hirsch Vineyards Block 8 Pinot Noir 2019
Block 8 refers to a single section in Hirsch’s 72-acre vineyard that owner David Hirsch considers to be a “grand cru” parcel. The most expensive of an impressive range of high quality Pinot Noirs produced by the winery, this wine is aged in a mix of French and Austrian barrels, with some 30 percent new oak used. Ethereal with seemingly endless nuance, the wine opens with floral, herbaceous aromas, and prominent raspberry notes. The palate delights with complex texture and concentrated fruit character. While it’s already drinking well, it would be great to track this wine’s evolution over the next five, 10, or 15 years. Average price: $105. Rating: 96.
Joseph Phelps Pinot Noir Freestone Vineyards 2019
Produced using a blend of estate-grown and sourced fruit, this Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir spends 13 months in new and used French oak before bottling. Red fruit intertwines with cherry cola and oak aromas on the nose, while the palate lands with depth and bright acidity. At 14.2 percent ABV, the wine’s profile is rich and intense, though the alcohol is integrated. Average price: $70. Rating: 91.
Keller Estate Winery El Coro Pinot Noir 2019
The Petaluma Gap gained AVA designation in late 2017, and this wine is a shining example of why the area is regarded as a prime location for California Pinot Noir. The cooling influences of ocean breezes and fog help retain the wine’s immense freshness, and provide a platform for bright fruit character (red plums and sour cherry). Notes of cinnamon, tea, cracked black pepper, and subtle oak add nuance. Average price: $64. Rating: 94.
Kokomo Winery Gopher Hill Peters Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019
From the Sonoma Coast, this single-vineyard Pinot Noir hails from a block the winery names Gopher Hill, in reference to the critters that try to make it their home. Made from five different clones, the wine is vinified in one-ton, open top fermenters, then aged for just under a year in majority used French oak. Red petal and blackcurrant aromas combine on the nose, with a hint of cloves also present. Luscious fruit defines the front palate before soft tannins take over, revealing the wine’s plush texture. Average price: $46. Rating: 92.
Maysara Jamsheed Pinot Noir 2015
Maysara is a certified biodynamic producer located in western Oregon’s McMinnville AVA. This release has already spent five and a half years in bottle, following 12 months aging in French oak. It offers a rare opportunity to appreciate cellared Pinot Noir — especially at this price point. Over time, the wine’s raspberry and black cherry core has developed some dried fruit notes, while the palate remains vibrant and lively, with mouthwatering acidity. This is a bargain. Average price: $32. Rating: 91.
Merry Edwards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2019
A stunning example of Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, this wine serves an attractive mix of fruit and earth notes. Careful cask influence from 11 months in 53 percent new French oak adds to its elegant aromatic profile, which spans cherries, garden vegetables, and just a hint of forest floor. Soft fruit shines on the palate, while the finish lingers for an age. Average price: $58. Rating 94.
Patient Cottat Le Grand Caillou Pinot Noir 2019
From the Loire Valley–based Patient Cottat, this is a multi-region Vin de France Pinot Noir. For a sub-$20 bottle, it serves a generous amount of fruit character and some subtle signs of savory complexity. The palate is balanced, with racing acidity, medium fruit depth, and muted but prickly tannins providing a nice textural core. Average price: $16. Rating: 89.
Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir 2019
Produced in New Zealand’s Waipara Valley, the north-facing vineyards that provide the grapes for this wine contain nine Pinot Noir clones. Aging takes place over 15 months in a mix of new and old French barriques, and all factors combine to provide a thought provoking, intensely aromatic Pinot Noir. The nose begins earthy then reveals tart cranberry and rhubarb aromas. Each sip delivers rich fruit, accented by fine tannins and crisp minerality. Average price: $50. Rating: 93.
Raptor Ridge Temperance Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
Made from certified organic grapes grown in Oregon’s Eola-Amity AVA, this Pinot Noir spends just nine months in French oak. That its bright and vibrant fruit character shines on the nose therefore comes as little surprise, though a suggestion of vanilla adds a touch of luxury. The wine continues in lively form as it hits the palate, delivering attractive pomegranate and cherry notes. Average price: $50. Rating: 90.
Sanford Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2019
Grown in the heart of Santa Barbera’s Santa Rita Hills appellation, the grapes for this wine come from two of Sanford’s estate vineyards. Vinified to 13.5 percent ABV, it’s a punchy, heady Pinot Noir with prominent aromas of cherries and cola, and a hint of umami. The palate delivers generous depth of fruit, which is elevated by acidity and tannins. This is a great wine. Average price: $45. Rating: 93.
Schug Carneros Pinot Noir 2019
This four-vineyard blend is fermented in stainless steel, then aged for two months in 800-liter casks followed by nine months in French oak barrels (20 percent new). It is a rich and complex Pinot Noir, with a bouquet of red cherries, cinnamon, and oak. Cherry preserve forms the core of the palate, which is bound by lively acidity and silky tannins. Average price: $38. Rating: 90.