Chalone has a long-standing reputation for Pinot Noir, and its estate grown bottling runs about $40 a bottle. At $13 to $14, this Monterey County Pinot is one of California's best values. Like the HobNob Pinot Noir below, it is definitely New World in its approach--ripe and ready--but with a lot more complexity and depth than any I've had recently. Dark cherries, cloves, flowers and a hint of anise on the finish. Very ripe but with clearly defined flavors.
I had this in a restaurant, and my only complaint was that it was too ripe and soft to stand up to a spicy clam/marinara pasta dish. A good Chianti or Southern Rhone would have been better.