2004 Hunterdon Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands ($15)


September 28, 2005|By MICHAEL DRESSER

The typical California pinot noir at about this price is a chancy proposition. The Hunterdon, however, is a terrific value from an up-and-coming region. It's a medium-bodied red with intense black-cherry fruit and hints of licorice, chocolate and earth. Smooth on the palate and long in the finish, it comes closer to Burgundian character than 95 percent of California pinot noirs -- even most of those with $30+ price tags.

SERVE WITH // roast chicken or turkey, grilled tuna steak, prime rib

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