Our favorite from the 2011 Pinot Noir tasting:

2006 Le Cadeau “Cote Est” Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

92 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “The 2006 Pinot Noir Cote Est is dark ruby-colored with aromas of pain grille, spice box, black cherry, and black raspberry. It has a bit more structure than the preceding wines along with layers of fruit, darker flavors, and a pure, fruit-filled finish.” (10/08) 92 points from Wine Enthusiast: “The Côte Est Pinot Noir is more structured and less immediately accessible than the winery’s Rocheux bottling, but ultimately may prove to be the better bottle. It offers tightly woven, chewy fruit flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and plum, along with darker streaks of clove, leaf, smoke and earth. As always, the wine is structured with elegant precision.” (10/1/2008) From Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar: “Full red. Ripe cherry, anise, dried rose and dark chocolate on the nose, with a suave spicy quality adding complexity. Fleshy cherry preserve flavors offer very good depth, with light tannins contributing structure. Deeper in pitch on the long, sappy finish, which leaves a trail of dark cherry and plum jam flavors behind. This is drinking very well already.” (May/June 08).  It should be good at $46/bottle.

OUR SECOND CHOICE:

CHIME PINOT NOIR, ANDERSON VALLEY
Chime Anderson Valley Pinot Noir possesses tremendous fruit notes of blueberry and black cherry. Fantastic mushroom and fall leaves on the nose with sweet cherry and a round centered palate packed of  flavor and subtleties. It has loads of fruit, great clarity on the palate, and a finish with good acidity and weight.
2008 Vintage – EDITOR’S CHOICE – Wine Enthusiast, December 2010 Issue.  Around $12/bottle. 

Interestingly, the Chime Williamette Valley is no where near as good, and is priced the same. 

While we do not generally enjoy the American pinot noirs as much as the French, we decided to have a little tasting party and all of the tasters agreed on the above top three recommendations.