I really enjoy pinot noir; however, a majority of quality pinot noir from California and Oregon can range from $40-$55 a bottle, which does not lend itself to an everyday drinking wine. I have been asked by others for recommendations for “good value” pinot noirs. This required some research since “value” pinot noir is somewhat of an oxymoron given that the pinot noir grapes are difficult to grow and are quite expensive. Though not impossible, it is somewhat difficult to find a nice pinot for under $20. I have tried some very nice pinots in the $19-$26 price range that seem to be easily found at Tom Thumb grocery stores (Safeway in other parts of the country) and Goody Goody in Dallas. Since these are larger case productions, you should be able to find them at a supermarket or liquor store in your area.
The first wine is the 2007 Artesa – Carneros. We had this at a Dallas restaurant and really enjoyed it, so we bought it the next time we were at the store for around $22. Wine & Spirits gave it 90 points and commented, “The classic red cherry flavors of Carneros Pinot mark this wine from beginning to end, cool, fresh and precisely drawn. It’s a clear statement of the region, lovely in its simplicity.” Price Range: $20-$24
The second wine is the 2007 Wild Horse – Central Coast. Wine Spectator rated it at 89 points and commented, “This is complex, offering a mix of ripe cherry and raspberry flavors, with mineral and loamy earth notes that have a savory herb edge. Full-bodied, focused and long on the finish, with the right mix of acidity and tannins.” Price Range: $20-$26
The third wine is the 2008 A by Acacia. I have had this wine several times at a local restaurant in Dallas, and consider it a nice pinot for the money. According to the Wine News (88 pts), “The ‘08 A by Acacia Pinot Noir has heady aromas of cinnamon, orange peel and spice; soft and supple on entry with creamy vanilla and tart berry fruit.” Price Range: $19-$23