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20 top-scoring Pinot Noir wines to try

Celebrate International Pinot Noir Day with these standout wines from 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.

Results from the recently announced Decanter World Wine Awards highlight the versatility of this variety, with nine countries and 40 outstanding Pinot Noir wines represented in the competition’s top medal categories – Gold, Platinum and Best in Show.


Scroll down to see 20 top-scoring Pinot Noir wines from DWWA 2023


In the competition’s top 50 wines, three were awarded to single varietal Pinot Noir wines from Dundee Hills, Oregon in the US, Martinborough in New Zealand’s North Island and Pommard 1er Cru of Burgundy, France. Burgundy (Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru and Grands-Echezeaux Grand Cru) and New Zealand’s Central Otago also received two Platinum medals each from the 2021 vintage, with an additional 97 points awarded to wines from Chile and Australia.

From Malleco Valley in Chile, Viña Morande, Black Series Pinot Noir, Traiguén 2021 represents the first-ever Platinum win for this region. Described by the judges as ‘complex with swirling aromas of burnt flowers, pomegranate, woodsmoke and ripe dark summer berries’ its a dynamic and layered Pinot Noir with elegant and firm tannins.

Elsewhere, Canadian Pinot Noir saw success with four varietal wines awarded Gold medals; Pinot Noirs from Baden in Germany, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol in Italy and Valais, Switzerland made the hard-earned Gold list too.

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 2023 competition, with more Gold-, Silver- and Bronze-awarded Pinot Noir wines to discover on our results site awards.decanter.com

20 top-scoring Pinot Noir wines to try

Australia

Dalrymple, Pinot Noir, Pipers River, Tasmania 2021

Platinum, 97 points
Lovely nose showing beautiful aromas of violets, liquorice, sweet dark cherries, elegant spices and nuances of earthy undertones. Lovely flow on the palate, with slightly chalky tannins, very sapid and well structured. Harmonious finish. Alc 14% 

Hardys, Eileen Hardy Pinot Noir, Not Applicable, Tasmania 2021

Gold, 96 points
Ripe and floral red cherry and raspberry, with notes of sassafras and hints graphite and violet undertones. Exotic and peppery on the palate, concentrated and long. Alc 13.6%

Giant Steps, Applejack Vineyard Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley, Victoria 2021

Gold, 95 points
Quite complex and perfumed bouquet of lovely woody notes, ripe raspberry fruit and hints of smoky bacon. Silky and precise, with gentle tannins. Alc 13.5%

Canada

Cedarcreek Estate Winery, Aspect Block 4 Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia 2020 

Gold, 96 points
Inviting and aromatic on the nose with spicy, small berry and plush cherry aromatics leading on to a pretty palate of crunchy red cherry, lifted floral notes, a bright acidity and a textured minerality. Alc 13% 

Hidden Bench Estate Winery, Pinot Noir, Beamsville Bench, Ontario – Niagara Peninsula 2021 

Gold, 95 points
Perfumed and fragrant, with bright raspberry, plush strawberry and pretty floral notes, then on to a textured palate of flinty, stony mineral, light spice, violet, small red berry fruit, crunchy blackberry and subtle, fine grained tannins. Alc 13% 

Chile

Viña Morande, Black Series Pinot Noir, Traiguén, Malleco Valley 2021 

Platinum, 97 points
Complex swirling aromas of burnt flowers, pomegranate, woodsmoke, ripe dark summer berries with nuances of toasty and spicy oak, roasted coffee and savoury undertones. Very dynamic and layered, with elegant and firm tannins. Alc 13% 

France

Château De Meursault, Clos Des Epenots, Pommard 1er Cru, Burgundy 2021 

Best in Show, 97 points
It’s a bright, translucent crimson in colour, with aerial cherry scents of huge charm and sweet poise.  On the palate, the wine is smooth, lively and intense, with admirable depth of fruit (the cherries are now joined by raspberries and redcurrants); the wine’s purity suggests strict harvest selection.  A treat when served at any point in its first decade of life, this classically styled Pommard competed well in our competition with other wines from sunnier, more serene summers. Alc 13.5% 

Albert Bichot, Domaine Du Clos Frantin, Grands-Echezeaux Grand Cru, Burgundy 2021 

Platinum, 97 points
A complexity of richly spiced black cherry and plum fruit with a smoky, toasty oak and cedar wood core. Opulent and harmonious with satin, textured tannins, a moreish, ripe acidity and a long, lingering finish. Alc 13%

Albert Bichot, Domaine Du Clos Frantin Les Malconsorts, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru, Burgundy 2021

Platinum, 97 points
Fragrant mulberry, black cherry and plum with toasted vanilla spice. Poised and concentrated with a lively pervading acidity and melting satin tannins from the oak which carry the wine weightlessly through to a seamlessly long finish. Alc 12.9%

Henri & Gilles Remoriquet, Rue De Chaux, Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru, Burgundy 2021 

Gold, 96 points
Explosive ripe black cherry and fragrant plum with subtle spice and herbaceous aromatics; creamy and rich with supple, silky tannins and a long, alluring finish. Alc 13.5% 

Germany

Weingut Martin Waßmer, Schlatter Maltesergarten Pinot Noir GC, Baden 2020 

Gold, 95 points
Inviting and elegant, with a perfumed nose of red cherry, tobacco and fine oak notes leading to a palate of strawberry, liquorice, aromatic herb, perfectly integrated oak and beautiful, fine grained tannins. Alc 13.5% 

Italy

Schloss Englar, Balthasius Pinot Noir, Alto Adige / Südtirol Riserva, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol 2019

Gold, 96 points
Lavish cherry, raspberry and blue fruit are pervaded by a black tea savoury note and a fresh kick of chalky minerality; bags of length and energy! Alc 13%

New Zealand

Palliser Estate, Hua Nui Single Vineyard Pinot Noir, Martinborough, Wairarapa 2021 

Best in Show, 97 points
Deep scarlet in colour, the aromas of this forthright, vital Pinot evoke both raspberries and plums.  On the palate, too, the wine is energetic and exuberant; its structure derives from that force of fruit, darkened by oak and lifted by ripe, fruit-dense acidity rather than tannins.  The overall mouthfeel, thus, is smooth rather than grippy, despite this impressive depth of fruit.  This is assured Pinot Noir from one of the southern hemisphere’s reference zones. Alc 13.5% 

Rockburn, The Chosen Hillside Pinot Noir, Central Otago 2021 

Platinum, 97 points
Layers of ripe red cherry and juicy redcurrant melt into a warming, toasty oak core. Rich and structured with a superb lift of acidity and a sumptuous pillow of tannin. Youthful and promising with a long, rustic finish. Alc 13.5% 

Valli Vineyards, Pinot Noir, Bannockburn, Central Otago 2021 

Platinum, 97 points
An energetic burst of red berry, plum and cherry with a forest floor, truffly mushroom undercurrant. Poised and elegant with velvety tannins, a crunchy acidity and a beautifully youthful, autumn leaf texture. Long and peppery. Alc 13.5% 

Wild Earth Wines, Pinot Noir, Central Otago 2021

Gold, 96 points
Generously laden with dark plums, blackcurrant, raspberry and earthy spice, with a searing youthful backbone of acidity and fine grained, textured tannins. Intriguing and immersive. Alc  13.5%

Switzerland

Domaine Jean-René Germanier, Clos De La Couta, Valais 2020

Gold, 95 points
A refreshing spectrum of crunchy cranberry, tart cherry and dried floral aromatics with a billowing, silky texture, seamless tannins and a long, spicy finish. Alc 12.8% 

Gregor Kuonen Caveau De Salquenen, Grande Réserve Le Prestigieux Pinot Noir, Valais 2019 

Gold, 95 points
Lively cherry and ripe raspberry fruits abound with an undercurrent of coffee, tobacco and spice. Smooth and driven with a leathery backbone and a long finish. Alc 13.8%

United States

Archery Summit Winery, Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Oregon 2021 

Best in Show, 97 points
This 2021 wine is a fine example of the charm, balance and satisfaction that fine Dundee Hills Pinot can provide. Translucent scarlet in colour, with magnetically attractive raspberry scents, once on the palate the wine is soft-contoured yet energetic, with arresting intensity of fruit. Here the raspberry shades into something more curranty and tenacious, and there are refreshing bitter notes in the finish, too, with a hint of earthiness perhaps derived from the clays of volcanic origin in which the vines grow. The warm edge of cool climate? Perhaps – and it makes for beautiful drinking. Alcohol 13.5% 

Domaine Serene, Two Barns Vineyard Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Oregon 2019

Gold, 95 points
Elevated sarsaparilla and savoury forest floor notes with an emergence of bright red cherry acidity; delicate and refined with smoky oak and sweet vanilla undertones and a poised silky texture. Alc 13.5%


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