Cheap Wine That Doesn't Suck

Pinot noir that actually tastes like pinot noir is becoming about as rare as brain cells at a birthers' convention, as winemakers pimp out this most perfect of all varietals with gobs of fruit and cords of oak and enough alcohol to stir into a martini. 

Cheap pinot noir that actually tastes like pinot noir is ever rarer than that, as it's a finicky, difficult, high-maintenance grape, the enological equivalent of Lindsay Lohan.  

So when you run across a pinot noir with the smoky, earthy, tart raspberry fruit nuances of... you know, pinot noir, and it costs a rather amazing $6.99, well, you gotta give a big shoutout to the 2008 Maurel Vedeau Saveurs Veritables. Given its vintage, it's a pretty young wine, certainly drinkable now but worth laying down for a year or so to give it time to mellow. 

If I were grilling a couple of fillets of salmon, roasting a chicken, sautéeing some veal medallions, or whipping up a bowl of fettucine al pesto, I'd pop a bottle of this and be pretty damned happy.

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Bill Citara