Cartlidge & Browne 2003 California Pinot Noir ($11.99)
Very dark reddish-purple, black at the center, very dense and dark for a Pinot. Fresh, appealing aromas loft from the glass, ripe black cherries accented with a dash of subtle spice. Fresh and juicy fruit flavors fulfill the nose's promise, tart black plums laced up by zippy acidity. It's not what you'd call "Burgundian," but good forward fruit and proper acidic balance, in a wine that accurately reflects the grape's California style, all add up to an exceptional lower-price Pinot. US Importer: (Apr 7, 2005)

FOOD MATCH: Pork or poultry in bold-flavored preparations serve it well; it was fine with a quick dish of shredded chicken in a light, not-too-fiery chipotle cream sauce over penne pasta.



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