The world’s most prized pinot noir comes from Burgundy, the famous wine region in France. These unique wines can be very expensive, particularly if they come from specific villages. If you’re looking for something more affordable, consider Cloudline, a reasonably priced Oregon pinot noir with links to Burgundy’s Maison Joseph Drouhin. In the U.S., the Drouhin family has a winery and vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and Cloudline is produced under the guidance of Veronique Drouhin-Boss, a fourth-generation Drouhin winemaker. The wine is compared below with a New Zealand pinot noir from the popular Kim Crawford label. Both wines are light- to medium-bodied and would go well with salmon, duck, mushroom dishes and goat cheese.
Cloudline Cellars 2015 Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Bought • Sam’s Club, 2100 Maplewood Commons Drive, in February for $13.78
Description • This elegant and lively pinot noir received 92 points from wine critic James Suckling. About 25 percent of its grapes come from the Drouhin family’s highly regarded Roserock vineyard located in the Willamette Valley’s desirable Eola-Amity Hills area. Tasting of cherries and tart raspberries, this wine is soft, silky and easy to drink. It’s a high-quality wine at a very good price.
Kim Crawford 2015 Pinot Noir, New Zealand
Bought • Sam’s Club, 2100 Maplewood Commons Drive, in February for $15.48
Description • Kim Crawford Wines, which started out in a small Auckland cottage in 1996, is one of New Zealand’s best-selling brands. Although I’ve been impressed with previous vintages of its Marlborough pinot noir, I was disappointed with this 2015, which was surprisingly very acidic. However, it’s still a good wine and its flavors develop after being allowed to breathe for a bit.