Best local pinot noir wines for the holidays
Pinot noir is always a popular choice for holiday parties and dinners because it is easy to pair with so many holiday dishes. Pinot noir’s traditional characters of medium-bodied fruit, lower alcohol, velvety mouthfeel, and bright acidity make it an excellent lighter red wine for holiday meals. After tasting more than a dozen local pinot noir wines we made some recommendations below. We suggest serving these wines slightly chilled at about 55°F.
Top Paso Robles pinot noir wines
Asuncion Ridge – 2015 Barrel Select Pinot Noir – $65
This delicious pinot offers flavors of cherry cola, boysenberry, and caramel with a sweet tea and blueberry crumble finish. Only 75 cases were produced. It just earned 90 Points from Wine Enthusiast and was an editors’ choice.
Bianchi Winery 2015 Pinot Noir – $38
From Garey Vineyards in Santa Maria Valley, this pinot noir is medium-bodied yet light with a fruity aroma and a robust earthy, tannic and oak finish. Hints of raspberry, vanilla, chocolate and smokey cedar. The flavor lingers.
Bushong 2016 Ananda Pinot Noir – $47
Ananda is Sanskrit for “Infinite Joy”. This pinot from the Derbyshire Vineyard in San Simeon delivers on its promise. It’s a rich pinot noir with velvety mouthfeel and classical ripe grapefruit notes.
Laetitia 2016 Reserve du Domaine Pinot Noir – $44
This elegant wine comes from one of the county’s top producers of pinot noir. With an initial spiced berry quality, the wine unwinds slowly into notes of cedar plank and delicate rose petal, framed by fine, dusty tannins. The palate is expressive with tangy notes of sarsaparilla, red currant and warm baking spice. This wine earned 91 points from Wine Spectator.
LaZarre 2014 Pinot Noir – $54
The fruit in this bottle comes from the famous La Encantada vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills. It has a complex array of aromatics: bing cherries, strawberries, tarragon, vanilla bean, and cocoa powder. The flavors are even more intense and change beautifully as the wine opens up.
San Simeon 2017 Pinot Noir – $15
This is a rich, fruit-driven wine with ripe flavors of strawberry and raspberry. The mouth is soft and round with a lingering finish. Aromas of bright red fruit, cinnamon, and oak spice are revealed on the fragrant nose.
Talley Vineyards 2016 Pinot Noir – $42
Talley’s signature red wine. It’s an expression of the calcareous soils and cool maritime climate of the Arroyo Grande Valley. This vintage is a crimson purple with aromas of raspberries, cherries and rhubarb. The palate offers notes of juicy berries, plum, and cranberry.
Paso Robles wine recommendations
• Best local sparkling wines for the holidays
• Best local rosé wines for the holidays
• Best local white wines for the holidays
• Best local Spanish-style wines for the holidays
• Best local pinot noir wines for the holidays
• Best local zinfandel and Italian-style wines for the holidays
• Best local cabernet sauvignon and Bordeaux-style wines for the holidays
• Best local Rhone-style red wines for the holidays
• Best local dessert wines for the holidays
Publisher’s note: For the fifth year in a row we thought it would be a great idea to recommend local wines for upcoming holiday parties and dinners. Once again, we received an amazing amount of participation from our local wineries. Over the last few weeks, we received more than 100 entries. After tasting and tasting and tasting, there were many solid, well-made wines to recommend. We have created several lists of top local wines into categories. The recommended wines above are in alphabetical order.