Scouting for the tastiest high-end pinot noirs

Wine writer Peg Melnik had a blind tasting this week of high-end pinot noirs, from lean to lush. Our wine-of-week winner is Davis Bynum, 2011 Jane's Vineyard Garfield Block, Russian River Valley Sonoma County Pinot Noir at $35.

TOP PICK

Davis Bynum

2011 Jane's Vineyard Garfield Block, Russian River Valley Sonoma County Pinot Noir,

14.5 percent alcohol, $55. 4 stars

A tangy pinot with explosive cherry/berry fruit. Complex, with notes of herbs, cinnamon and pepper. Bright acidity. A standout.

Others worth mentioning:

William Selyem, 2011 Estate Pinot Noir, 13.7 percent, $100. 4 stars

A striking pinot with depth. Layered with notes of raspberry, blackberry, and cedar. A knockout.

Cuvaison, 2011 Carneros Napa Valley Pinot Noir, 13.5 percent, $38. 4 stars

A pinot with great bones — great structure — and a lot going on. Earthy, with notes of cherry, raspberry, herbs and sassafras. Nice length.

Ancient Oak, 2009, Siebert Ranch Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, 14.4 percent, $37. 3? stars

A juicy pinot with upfront fruit. Layered with bright cherry and sassy spice. Tasty.

Chalk Hill, 2010, Russian River Valley Sonoma County Pinot Noir, 14.5 percent, $48. 3? stars

An impressive juicy pinot with red raspberry and cherry flavors. Briary, with a surprising kick of spice and a hint of tobacco. Very appealing.