Pepperwood Grove 1997 California Pinot Noir ($6.49)
But Pepperwood Grove (which also surprised with the high quality of its bargain-priced 1997 Syrah) comes through with a $7 bottle that, while it's no Burgundy, certainly ranks as one of the best Pinot buys around.
Clear garnet in color, it shows pleasant cherry fruit and tomato-skin aromas; big, juicy and simple flavors may lack complexity, but at this price it's a surprisingly characteristic California Pinot and a real bargain. (Feb. 25, 2000)
FOOD MATCH: A good if unexpected match with a version of vitello tonnato, replacing the usual veal with pork under a rich tuna-anchovy sauce.
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