Try this light-bodied wine on the warm days of late summer and early fall.

Call me silly, but I’ve had pinot on my mind. Some good producers have been in town, the weather has been cooperating, and lighter bodied wines have been the order of the day. Pinot noir is a wonderful grape, its versatility with food borders on ridiculous, it isn’t too heavy, and it’s the perfect fix when it comes to wines that exude terroir. Five countries and two states have offerings below and I hope you have a chance to enjoy a few of them as much as I’ve enjoyed tasting them.

Domaine Drouhin 2012 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, Oregon

Coming from a warmer year (in Oregon) look for plenty of blacker berry fruits, raspberries, mocha, and dry compost notes on the nose. Palate is packed with lifted fruits, slightly firm tannins and some bright acids. Duck confit anyone? $47

Joseph Drouhin 2010 Volnay Taille Pieds Premier Cru, Burgundy, France

Quite dark in the glass with some early bricking on the rim, there is an abundance of depth and complexity in this glass. Floral, with sugarplum, cherries, hints of strawberry, spice, earthy-mushroom notes, and a hint of gingerbread. Really stunning for drinking now, soon, or in the future. $90

Paul Hobbs 2011 Crossbarn Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, California

Loving the layers in this glass – bright cherry fruits, a little jam jar, and some lighter compost notes on the on the nose while tight fruits show on the palate with vegetable leaf, woodiness, and a nice long finish. Drink or keep, neither will disappoint. $47

Libra 2011 Reserve Pinot Noir, Oregon

Bright and floral on the nose with a slightly dried cherry fruit expression. Rich and juicy with great acid presence, this wine has style. Best drinking over the near term, enjoy with duck, salmon, or some nice appetizers. $37

Joseph Chromy 2012 Pinot Noir, Tasmania, Australia

From cool-climate Tasmania, plenty of earthy, barnyard-y expression hovers over the berry fruits in this glass. In the mouth the fruits are tart, with plenty of acidity for the foodies and a nice long finish. I’m going to suggest freshwater fish or game bird as a food pairing here. $30

Louis Latour 2011 Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Burgundy, France

A classic and well-known pinot noir from France. Bright fruits, some great acid presence, and just a touch of tannic grip on the finish. Drinking best now, it’s perfect with duck, cedar plank salmon, or a veggie burger if that is your thing. A Judges Selection at the 2013 Alberta Beverage Awards too. $21

Banshee 2012 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, California

Soft, ripe fruits with a little spice box lead to a touch of woody compost, while the palate showcases big fruits, a touch of tannin and a mild creaminess, bringing an added dimension. Easy drinking and versatile. $37

Mouton Noir 2011 O.P.P. Willamette Valley, Oregon

Tightly wound with black cherry fruits, black pepper, vegetable leaf, and chalky mineral notes. Great fruit presence with a little blueberry to go with cherry and cranberry. Made from sourced fruits, it’s amazing what some people can do with “other people’s pinot…” $23

Tiefenbruner 2012 Turmhoff Pinot Nero, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy

Yes, Italy does make some pinot noir, and yes it can do it quite well. Aromas of wood chip, black cherry spice and cocoa, with a sleek floral note throughout. Lush fruits, with balanced tannins and a little smokiness on the finish, I’d say drink now, and try to enjoy it with pork loin, lamb burgers, or anything really. $28

Richmond Plains 2012 Blanc de Noir, Nelson, New Zealand

Not counting that this wine is both certified organic and biodynamic, this is a rare example of a white wine made from pinot noir grapes. Pearand peach fruits with a note of red apple and melon. Definitely interesting but very similar to pinot gris. $27

Back House 2012 Pinot Noir, California

Packed to the roof with lush, ripe berry fruits, it tastes literally like a glass of jam. I’m saying that as a compliment, but it is decidedly jam-like. A casual glass for those getting into wine or those that like their reds a little sweeter. Bring to the barbecue or enjoy as a no-fuss tipple. $17

Pascal Marchand 2010 Avalon Pinot Noir, Burgundy, France

A Burgundian wine with a Canadian connection in Quebec native Pascal Marchand, look for strawberry and cherry-type fruits, bright floral tones and a touch of earthiness in this huge, generous nose. To taste, fruits are open and welcoming with good acids and slightly bitter tannin presence. Pair with burgers, smokies, or something else barbecued. $41

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