2011 Chalone Vineyard Monterey County Pinot Noir (Previously $14)

SKU #1145727 90 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Best Buy* To call this the best California Pinot at this price on the market is not a back-handed compliment. It’s a fine wine to drink now with Pinot-friendly fare, and what it lacks in depth it makes up for in immediate enjoyment. Shows real Pinot character, from the cherry, cola and pomegranate flavors to the acidity and delicacy.  (12/2013)

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Price: $10.99
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Staff Image By: Mahon McGrath | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/6/2013 | Send Email
Pinot Noir is still one of the most difficult grapes to get right in general, but especially at the lower end of the price spectrum, and Chalone has done a commendable job with their 2011 Monterey County Pinot Noir. Cherry-berry flavors, with just a smidgeon of cocoa, have the concentration to show to good effect while happily staying this side of understated, skewing more tart than sweet.

Staff Image By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/6/2013 | Send Email
After already logging a few million miles toting a gazillion hi-tech toys and putting up with countless unendearing complaints about "slippery hoofs" on slanted roofs (reindeer can't spell), your well-worn Santa will probably be ready for more than warm milk and stale Toll House cookies. The vintage Port is still off limits (sorry Santa!) so pour a glass of this supple and pleasing Pinot Noir, a satisfying and celebratory holiday wine, wreathed in bright red fruit with lush flavors of cherry, raspberry, sweet earth and autumn roses. Even if the impatient reindeer on the roof won't chill out, Santa certainly will....tra la la.
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Shaun Green | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/3/2013 | Send Email
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Hot on the heels of our fantastic Chalone Chardonnay deal, this Pinot from Chalone is seriously the absolute best deal in Pinot I've seen in a very long time. Soft and pretty and completely correct Pinot Noir. Just a touch of spice complimenting the crisp red fruits and a gentle smooth palate feel. Just in time for the 2013 Holiday Season and the perfect wine for gatherings that require a bit more budgeting.
Drink from 2013 to 2015

Staff Image By: Patrick Cu | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/2/2013 | Send Email
Here's a great value Pinot for well under $15! It has scents of black cherries, rose petals, and a hint of earthiness. There are flavors of more black cherry, raspberries, and light spice that are all supported by good acidity. The 2011 Chalone will work wonders for parties or just a casual night at home.

Additional Information:


Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Monterey/Carmel Valley

- These heavily planted regions on either side of the vast Salinas Valley account for much of the mass-produced, commercial wine sold in supermarkets nationwide. In the hills, however, and in sub-AVAs like Chalone and Santa Lucia Highlands, quality is much higher. Pinot noir and chardonnay look to be particularly promising.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5