Great Pinot Noir under $20 – Russian River Valley

Balletto Pinot Noir

Balletto Russian River Valley Pinot Noir – Authentic Pinot

2013 Balletto Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Estate Bottled

Costco $18.99, Balletto online wine shop $29, Wine.com $25

I recently tasted two Pinot Noir wines from Costco that were $19 each. One was the Angel Camp Pinot Noir from the Anderson Valley, the other the Balletto Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2013. The Angel Camp was good, but I prefer the Balletto Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2013. It is everything a good Pinot Noir should be without the huge price tag. Balletto is a family-owned winery very near the wine town of Sebastopol, California. This is the heart of the Russian River Valley AVA. John Balletto began farming as a 17 year-old in 1977.  In the late 1990’s, he decided that vineyards would be more profitable and exciting than his vegetable farm. Now he has plenty of grapes to sell to other wineries and still have enough to make his Balletto wines.

Wine Tasting Notes – Balletto Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

  • We love the beautiful red fruit aroma and flavors and the spicy finish
  • This is a light-to-medium style Pinot Noir with delicate fruit character
  • The Balletto Pinot Noir is a great choice to pair with Salmon or rosemary grilled chicken

So many Pinto Noir wines these days are made on the robust side and almost Zinfandel like in character. The Balletto is more in line with the wines produced in Burgundy. The Wine Enthusiast rates this Balletto Pinot Noir at 91 points. I will go with a 90-point rating. I  splurged a little at the fish market and bought some local wild King Salmon. I grilled the fish using of one of my favorite Salmon recipes, the Pietro Barbecued Salmon. It was a wonderful wine and food match.

salmon and pinot noir

Pietro BBQ Salmon with the Balletto Pinot Noir

If you have a favorite Pinot Noir wine to recommend, or a favorite Pinot food match, please tell us in the Comment Section below. We would love to hear from you.

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