Among the international regions that produce premium pinot noir, the California versions seem richer and juicier, deeper and darker. In this vein of turbo-pinot, Pessagno is known for making real blockbusters — powerful pinot noirs with opulent texture, buckets of jammy black cherry flavor and a heaping helping of aromatic spice. Looking for a pinot noir capable of man-handling a steak into submission? This single vineyard Pessagno pinot noir (Chairman’s Selection, $19.99) will do the trick.
Dense with brandied cherry flavors and aromas of bacon and cloves, few pinot noirs can handle boldly seasoned foods as easily as this one. Try it with slow-cooked short ribs, chicken teriyaki or mesquite-grilled salmon.