springtime wines

A Baker’s Dozen of Pinot Noirs Plus Other Wines for Spring

For a seasonal surf 'n' turf feast, these are the wines for you
springtime wines

The best springtime version of surf 'n' turf might well be salmon fillet and spring lamb grilled side by side with a little char and not much else. And the best wine to serve with this combo is undoubtedly pinot noir. More than half of these 25 wines are pinots from several countries — but for those drinkers who like red wine with a stronger tannic handshake, we have some of those, too.

Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017 ($16). Classic flavors of green gooseberries and lime with good body and texture.

Gundlach Bundschu Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2016 ($26). From one of Sonoma County's pioneering wineries, a big wine with lots of clean apple fruit and a kiss of vanilla.

Gary Farrell Olivet Lane Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2015 ($45). Nice rounded fruit, with a minerally tang and a mellow oak finish.

Terrapura Itata Valley Pinot Noir 2017 ($11). An entry-level pinot noir from Chile, more savory than fruity and long on the palate.

Santa Julia “Mountain Blend” Valle de Uco Reserva 2016 ($13). Lots of bright, peppy fruit — both cherries and berries — with a nice close.

Feudo Principi di Butera Sicilia Nero d’Avola 2014 ($14). Fruity, but not too much so, with dark purple flavors and a crisp finale.

Gundlach Bundschu “Mountain Cuvée” Sonoma County Red Wine 2016 ($18). A versatile sippin’ or dinner wine with lush cherry flavor accented by savory notes.

Kim Crawford New Zealand Pinot Noir 2016 ($19). Ripe, rounded, dark cherry fruit, with a good finish; long on the palate.

B. R. Cohn “Silver Label” North Coast Pinot Noir ($20). “North Coast” is an appellation seldom seen these days on labels, allowing grapes to come from six different counties. This pinot is a little gamey with ripe cherry flavors.

Charles Krug Carneros Pinot Noir 2015 ($28). On the savory side, with light fruit and stemmy notes.

Matetic “Corralillo” San Antonio Valley Pinot Noir 2015 ($28). Dark cherry flavor with lots of earthy notes.

Chacra “Barda” Patagonia Pinot Noir 2017 ($30). We are beginning to see more wines from this cooler region of southern Argentina, and this pinot is a welcome example — light-bodied but flavorful and fresh, with a few herbal notes and lots of dusty tannins.

Frescobaldi Nippozano “Vecchie Viti” Chianti Rufina Riserva 2014 ($30). Velvety body, ripe cherries, and a mouthwatering, tangy finish.

Windsor Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2015 ($30). Dark cherries and cola with defining bitters in the finish.

Anaba Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2014 ($37). A bright-fruit pinot with succulent cherries, good structure, and a crisp finish.

Zuccardi “Tito” Valle de Uco Red Blend 2014 ($38). A surprising light blend — malbec, cabernet sauvignon, and the Italian variety ancellotta (used in lambrusco) — of some delicacy with good strawberry and raspberry flavors.

Selvapiana “Bucerchiale” Chianti Rufina Riserva 2013 ($35). Rufina wines are less known than those from the Classico region, and this delicious Chianti shows what can be accomplished there. Fruity and gamey, with a raspy finish, it's good for drinking now or later.

The Prisoner “Thorn” Napa Valley Merlot 2014 ($40). A little juicy, with good cherry flavor and savory tannins.

Etude Grace Benoist Ranch Carneros Pinot Noir 2016 ($43). A big wine, but the 14.2 percent alcohol gives it more body than heat, and the cherry and cola flavors are smoothly laid down.

Chacra “Lunita” Patagonia Pinot Noir 2017 ($45). Juicy, ripe cherries with great structure and balance.

Stags’ Leap Winery “The Investor” Napa Valley Red Wine 2015 ($47). A very satisfying wine with purple fruit, but not too fruit-forward, and with well-integrated tannins and barrel notes.

Stewart Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2015 ($50). Lovely floral aromas with juicy, ripe fruit and great acidity — a complex wine that is easy drinking.

Gary Farrell Hallberg Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2015 ($55). A lean pinot, with a crisp cherry flavor that will make you want to search out food to go along with it.

Robert Mondavi Carneros Pinot Noir Reserve 2014 ($61). Lively and lovely, a combination of ripe and tangy fruits with a lean finish — a versatile food wine.

Groth Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2014 ($118). Great deep-purple flavors and well-integrated tannins, though a little soft in the middle.