Home Winners > Winners 2016 > NEW WORLD: Pinot Noir, USA & Canada

Winner Details

New World: Pinot Noir, USA & Canada

2016 Gold: 3 Silver: 4 Bronze: 0 Commended: 4
2015 Gold: 0 Silver: 4 Bronze: 4 Commended: 3

Now this was interesting. Seven medals for North American Pinot was a record. Three Golds was a record. And in case these two nuggets of information don’t raise your eyebrows northwards, how about the fact that in this year’s Sommelier Wine Awards the US secured more places on the Gold List with its Pinots than it did with its Cabernets.

We’d be hard pushed to say that they’re cheap – the lowest-priced medal winner was still over £16. But for a certain type of venue and a certain type of sommelier, there’s clearly something in these wines that is totally worth pursuing.

We covered a fair distance here, from Oregon down to the Santa Rita Hills, and went stylistically from light and elegant to bigger and richer. Yet the good news is that they were all genuine (and genuinely good) expressions of Pinot Noir. They’re interesting, expressive and really well balanced. Rather than just getting bigger as they got more expensive, they became more complex and interesting.

And as some of our tasters pointed out, customers will pay big money for this stuff, even by the glass.


‘There was good typicity of New World Pinot Noir here: rich, ripe red fruit profiles, generous use of oak, a bit of sweetness on the palate.’ Annette Scarfe MW, team leader

‘You saw the difference in quality immediately as you went from the £15 bottles to the £20-plus bottles.’ Kelvin McCabe, Yauatcha City

‘New World wines often copy the style of Burgundy, but they’re better value most of the time.’ Mattia Scarpazza, Petersham Nurseries Café

‘I’m selling a Russian River Pinot Noir by the glass. Even though it’s £27, people order a second glass.’ Olivier Marie, team leader

“I have a Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir by the glass in a Michelin-star restaurant. People are curious to try it but no one has been disappointed.” Andre Luis Martins, The Cavalry and Guards Club

“There’s a lot of interesting stuff coming out of the US.” Andre Luis Martins, The Cavalry and Guards Club

Award winners

Found 11 wines

New World: Pinot Noir, USA & Canada

Terlato Wine Group, Sanford, Santa Rita Hills, Pinot Noir 2010, California, USA

Gold medal winner

'Very complex', 'silky smooth', 'great wine for fine dining' – no wonder Santa Rita Hills topped the Gold podium. 'Lovely bramble fruit with a crunchy texture on the mid-palate, complex with a long finish,' said team leader Annette Scarfe MW. 'Outstanding, extremely smooth and elegant, with rounded tannins and a nice touch of evolution,' added Dario Barbato of Individual Restaurants.

£30.70 Matthew Clark

DeLoach, Russian River Valley, Pinot Noir 2014, Sonoma County, California, USA

Gold medal winner

Universally appreciated for its savoury complexity as well as its sweet red fruit-laden palate. Jonathan Kleeman of Social Eating House said: 'Elegant style, showing good fresh fruit on the nose with a touch of sweet spice, soft tannins and some confected notes, but acidity that shows it can age well.' 'A lot of ripe cherry fruit, rounded with a smoky, spicy finish,' added Piotr Tomaszewski of JKS Restaurants.

£24.90 Liberty Wines

Truchard, Carneros, Pinot Noir 2013, Napa Valley, California, USA

Gold medal winner

A red Gold to match its Chardonnay Gold, Truchard's Pinot showed 'beautiful, floral, perfumed aromatics', according to the WSET's Michael Best, who continued: 'Broad on the palate, with delicious freshness. Match with roast pheasant.' 'Sweet raspberry with rhubarb and cola hints on the nose,' added team leader Olivier Marie, 'with a clean palate showing light minerality, sweet cherry and plum fruit, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove spices, and fresh herbal notes of dill.'

£18.19 Bibendum

Foley, The Four Graces, Reserve, Pinot Noir 2012, Dundee Hills, Oregon, USA

Silver medal winner

'Savoury and smoky nose with cherry fruit aromas, good acidity on the palate with more cherries and raspberry jam notes. Intense, with a long finish,' said Kelvin McCabe of Yauatcha City, while Bubbledogs' Sandia Chang noted: 'A lovely nose of red shrub fruits and vanilla, the palate is very pretty. Match with barbecue pork.'

£26.29 Matthew Clark

Omero, Ribbon Ridge, Pinot Noir 2012, Oregon, USA

Silver medal winner

'Generous use of oak supported by ripe, red plum fruit. Complex. A big food wine,' said team leader Annette Scarfe MW. 'Nice smooth tannins, nicely evolved style with ripe red fruits,' agreed Dario Barbato of Individual Restaurants.

£21.88 Enotria&Coe

La Crema, Willamette Valley, Pinot Noir 2013, Oregon, USA

Silver medal winner

'Mineral and savoury notes above the fruit on the nose,' began Sara Bacchiori of Chez Bruce, continuing: 'Red berries, cherry and strawberry on a ripe but not confected palate. Clean style with silky mouthfeel and a long finish with some spice hints. Lovely.' Rossano Antonelli of Hawksmoor Air Street agreed, adding: 'It's round and voluptuous with well-balanced acidity.'

£16.98 Fells

Joseph Phelps, Freestone Vineyards, Pinot Noir 2013, Sonoma Coast, California, USA

Silver medal winner

'Interesting nose with hints of popcorn, red rose petals and herbal tea, then lots of red fruit on the palate, red apple, strawberry, raspberry and a touch of thyme,' said Piotr Tomaszewski of JKS Restaurants. 'Elegant and fresh, with wild red berries, delicate spices and light green vegetal notes,' agreed Andre Luis Martins of The Cavalry and Guards Club.

£27.50 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Omero , Pinot Noir 2013, Willamette Valley, Oregon , USA

Commended medal winner

£15.05 Enotria&Coe

Fess Parker, Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2012, Santa Barbara County, California, USA

Commended medal winner

£15.25 Amathus

MacMurray, Central Coast, Pinot Noir 2012, California

Commended medal winner

£9.52 Enotria&Coe

MacMurray, Russian River Pinot Noir 2013, Sonoma County, California, USA

Commended medal winner

£18.78 Enotria&Coe


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