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Pinot, Pinot, Pinot

When Pinot Noir is made into fresh and elegant styles, it is one of the best options for pairing wine with a crowded table. When it comes to Thanksgiving, that is exactly what you've got, and Pinot is one of the most widely recommended wines for the yearly feast. We'll look at four classic Pinots, each one a perfect refreshment for the Thanksgiving table.

Montsecano, a biodynamic vineyard in Chile's Casablanca Valley

Francoise et Denis Clair Bourgogne Hautes-Cotes-de-Beaune 2017

One of our go-to Pinots at Craft and Cru, this beautiful Pinot is an easy choice. From a small family-run domaine in Santenay, the Clair family makes some of the best value wines in all of Burgundy. This juicy 2017 shows lots of red fruits next to nuances of pine needles, beets and flowers. It is a classic red Burgundy and it will refresh with tart berry fruitiness at every sip.

Colterenzio Alto Adige Pinot Nero Riserva 'St. Daniel' 2016

We would tout this wine's clout in any given vintage, but the 2016 is superlative. Colterenzio's Pinot Nero 'St. Daniel' is always fresh and lively, and usually quite ripe and juicy as well, but the 2016 vintage combines its qualities with measure and balance, and it ends up as one of the very best Italian Pinot Noirs we've ever tasted. Lifted aromas of berries mingle with notes of mushrooms, pine needles, turned earth, violets and diverse spices and herbs; it is complex on the nose. Delicate and fresh on the palate, it has a light touch despite its intense and complex flavors. 

Belle Pente Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017

This wine has a great following at Craft and Cru. When it comes to fine Oregon Pinot, Belle Pente is one of the originals, and they're pretty hard to beat. Their Willamette Valley Pinot Noir has twice been the highest rated wine (and best value) at the New York Times' annual Oregon Pinot "round-up", and we believe this 2017 is a serious contender against Pinot from anywhere. Bright and aromatic, with notes of raspberry and cherry taking center stage, while suspicions of flowers, blood orange and spice add intrigue. This is classic liquid fare for Thanksgiving.

Montsecano Casablanca Valley Pinot Noir 2017

Montsecano is a collaboration between the Ostertag family, of Alsace, and Julio Donoso. As with Ostertag's vineyards in Alsace, Montsecano is farmed biodynamically and plowed by horse. The wines have earned the collaborators plaudits since their first vintage, but the 2017's are in another league. The estate was hit hard by frost in 2017, so yields were very low, but quality is off the charts. Their 2017 Montsecano was made in two 700-liter concrete eggs, and only 1500 bottles were filled. It is a monument among New World Pinots; dense, structured, complex, but classically fresh and elegant, as we tend to like our Pinots. It is tight upon opening, so leave some time to decant before drinking. This is one of the world's most exciting Pinots. Don't miss it!

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