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15 top-scoring Pinot Noir wines to try

To celebrate International Pinot Noir Day, we highlight 15 exceptional wines from the Decanter World Wine Awards.

Decidedly the famed red grape of Burgundy, the best examples of Pinot Noir can inspire goosebumps for its sheer drinking pleasure.

Light bodied with fresh acidity, Pinot Noir wines can overdeliver on flavour with floral, fruity, savoury, earthy, complex and lingering flavours.

From country to region, sub-region to single vineyard, Pinot Noir is capable of expressing the place it comes from, and while Burgundy is its home, with intricacies of its own, Pinot Noir has adapted and excelled in wine regions across the globe.


Scroll down to see 15 top-scoring Pinot Noir wines from DWWA 2022


Results from the recently announced Decanter World Wine Awards highlight the versatility of this variety, with an incredible 11 countries represented in the competition’s top medal categories – Gold, Platinum and Best in Show.

Burgundy received the most Platinum medals with three exceptional wines awarded, but it was New Zealand’s Valli Pinot Noir 2020 from Bannockburn, Central Otago that received the sole Best in Show medal within the grouping.

In fact, with 13 Gold medals, one Platinum and one Best in Show, New Zealand saw more top medals awarded for its Pinot Noir wines than any other country. Regional Chair for New Zealand, Cameron Douglas MS commented: ‘Pinot Noir was an excellent performer this year with regional and even some sub-regional voices heard through the wines.’

Valli Pinot Noir 2020

Valli, Pinot Noir, Bannockburn, Central Otago 2020 – Best in Show, 97 points

Elsewhere, Switzerland saw standout success with a 97-point wine for Hammel Rolle’s Clos du Châtelard, Cuvée des Sens Pinot Noir 2020 from Villeneuve Chablais Grand Cru, Vaud. In California, Donum’s East Slope Pinot Noir 2019 from Los Carneros was the top winner for the US, also awarded 97 points and a Platinum medal.

From Germany, Italy and South Africa to Argentina, Chile, Australia and the Czech Republic, Gold medals were awarded to standout Pinot Noirs – each re-tasted a minimum of three times before its score being confirmed.

A truly global competition, results from the Decanter World Wine Awards are testament to the quality Pinot Noir wines that can be found across the globe – so what better day than International Pinot Noir Day to highlight some of the competition’s best.

Below discover a selection of the top-scoring wines from the 2022 competition, with more Gold, Silver and Bronze medal Pinot Noir wines to discover on our results site awards.decanter.com

15 top-scoring Pinot Noir wines to try

Argentina

Zorzal, Porfiado, Gualtallary, Tupungato, Mendoza NV

Gold, 95 points
Inviting and elegant, with aromas of red fruit leading on to a textured palate of pure fruit and a lifted minerality. Lovely tension and an unforgettable finish. Alc 11.8%

Australia

De Bortoli, Riorret the Abbey Pinot Noir , Yarra Valley, Victoria 2020

Gold, 96 points
The nose is savoury and spiced with beetroot and smoked wood, with a magical perfumed feel. The palate features lovely, crunchy red raspberry fruits and a lifted floral note, with ripe and firm, well-integrated tannins. The finish is precise and persistent and leaves a beautiful palate. Alc 13.8%

Levantine Hill, Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley, Victoria 2019

Gold, 96 points
Aromatic, smoky nose with hints of truffle and ceps. Precise clusters of tiny berries, fresh citrus, blood orange and dried rose are combined with forest floor nuances to make this quite special. A silky, creamy/coffee texture and smooth and soft tannins, result in an elegant and harmonious wine. Alc 13%

Chile

Viña Morandé, Black Series Pinot Noir, Traiguén, Malleco Valley 2020

Gold, 96 points
Reticent, earthy red fruits emerge slowly in the glass with floral and wild berry notes. Shades of Vosne Romanee emerge over time. Wild strawberry, negroni-like complexity, and graphite-like tension with some really fine, fairly abundant (for Pinot) tannin. Long, stylish, and understated. Alc 13.5%

Czech Republic

B/V Vinařství, Reserva Pinot Noir, Slovácká, Moravia 2015

Gold, 95 points
An intensely floral nose with ripe fruits and underlying spicy characters. The wine shows a nice mouthfeel, well-structured, with good acidity and fine use of oak. Alc 13%

France

Albert Bichot, Hospices de Beaune Cuvée Cyrot-Chaudron, Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, Burgundy 2020

Platinum, 97 points
Ripe, expressive plum, blueberry, and mulberry fruit accented with notes of rose petal, licorice, and smoke. A rich and mouthfilling attack followed by a texture that is firm but not forbidding. The wine shows an elegance and approachability that is gratifying. This should age well.
Alc 14.1%

Madame Veuve Point, Clos des Chênes, Volnay 1er Cru, Burgundy 2019

Platinum, 97 points
Classic plum and black cherry fruit with hints of anise, coffee grounds, and earthy torrefaction. Seductive and lively in the mouth, fresh and perfumed with spice and red berry fruits. There is just the right amount of extraction, with grip, density, and length, but nothing is overdone. Alc 14.2%

Maison Evenstad, Les Grands Épenots, Pommard 1er Cru, Burgundy 2019

Platinum, 97 points
Ripe blackberry and black cherry fruits with a bit of the characteristic Pommard iron and leather accents. On the palate it is delicate and refined, velvety, and brimming full of redberry fruits. There is a lovely energy and elegance to this wine with a core of limestone freshness.
Alc 14%

Germany

Fritz Wassmer, Sommerhalde Bombach Spätburgunder, Baden 2019

Gold, 96 points
Elegant nose with expressive character: ripe Morello cherries, blackberries, red berries and hints of fine toasting. The palate is elegant and intensely concentrated with juicy fruits, lingering acidity and superb length. Expressive and delicious with ticks in every box. It’s spot-on. Irresistible drinking. Alc 13.5%

Italy

Rosset Terroir, Pinot Noir 850, Valle d’Aosta 2019

Gold, 96 points
Stunning leafy tomato, clove, cherry, charred red pepper and kirsch nose. The palate is juicy, ripe and concentrated with vibrant acidity, well-integrated oak and lifted mineral components. Distinguished and characterful, this is in outstanding shape from every direction and has a very long, complex and convincing finish. Bravo! Alc 14%

New Zealand

Valli, Pinot Noir, Bannockburn, Central Otago 2020

Best in Show, 97 points
Bannockburn sits at the heart of one of the wine world’s most promising Pinot locations outside Burgundy, and this dark, fragrant yet intensely fruited wine drew our judges’ attention not just for the panache of its fruit but also for its intensity, drive, structure and resonance. The blackberry and plum fruits you can find on the nose are almost brooding, and a far cry from the sometimes simple appeal of the region’s pioneer Pinots. On the palate it is mouth-filling and deep with high-resolution focus; the acidity is neither trivial nor shrill; the tannins are soft, but carry a useful flavour print. It’s after you swallow, though, that you come to appreciate its sinew and ligament, its inner seriousness and its sheer completeness. Very fine Pinot by any measure. Alc 14%

Palliser Estate, Hua Nui Vineyard Pinot Noir, Martinborough, Wairarapa 2019

Platinum, 97 points
Distinctive bouquet with a flinty character, displaying elegant savoury aromas of autumn leafs and notes of cranberry, wild raspberry and tinned strawberry. Lovely vibrant and velvety palate with perfectly ripe fruit and dense tannins. Alc 13%

South Africa

Lothian of Elgin, Pinot Noir, Elgin 2019

Gold, 95 points
Lovely lifted Pinot fruit with raspberry and cherry and subtle oak spice detail. Lovely ripe, rich flavours of raspberry and strawberry, meaty-steak complexities, warm butter, and wet slate. The grippy yet fresh finish holds well-integrated oak with a lingering note of cherries. Alc 14%

Switzerland

Hammel Rolle, Clos du Châtelard, Cuvée des Sens Pinot Noir, Villeneuve Chablais Grand Cru, Vaud 2020

Platinum, 97 points
Fine, delicate and inviting, with pretty aromas of hibiscus, tea, red cherry and red berry, while the textured palate is graced with shapely tannins, savoury beetroot notes, smoky cedar and lush, rich red fruit. Alc 13.5%

USA

Donum, East Slope Pinot Noir, Los Carneros, California 2019

Platinum, 97 points
Fine, aromatic nose of blackberry, ripe black cherry and sweet brambly fruit with meaty, peppery notes. Crafted character on the rich, refined palate with smoky oak well-integrated with the fruit. Beautifully elegant structure with smooth tannins and vibrant acidity, the flavour continues on the long finish. Alc 13.9%

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