Margaret Swaine’s Wine Picks: Perfect Pinots

Tricky pinot noir can be expensive and disappointing, though when it’s good, it’s delightful. Find these well priced pinots that deliver via

Cambria Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009
$29.95 (90 Points)
From Santa Barbara’s coastal Santa Maria Valley, this is nicely balanced with a fresh backbone of acidity and smooth tannins. Aged just over eight months in French barriques, it has subtle brown spice notes to its red berry flavours. Graceful with a good finish, enjoy with or without food.

Carrick Pinot Noir 2009
$37.95 (92 Points)
Central Otago on South Island delivers much of New Zealand’s best pinot noir. This version, from a cooler-than-average vintage, is organically farmed and wild yeast fermented. Medium-full bodied and well structured, it has a good grip on the palate with polished tannins. Layered with flavours of fresh cherry and spice, it has a pleasantly lingering finish.

Domaine Chanson Beaune-Bastion 2009 
$39.95 (92 Points)
This premier cru burgundy from an estate founded in 1750 has a lovely earthy berry bouquet and traditional style. Lively on the palate with cherry/raspberry, subtle oak, a touch of spice and supple tannins, it’s elegantly French. Pleasurable to drink now, have with pork tenderloin, veal with porcini or pasta with wild mushrooms.