There are many artisans in the Burgundy region of France but not many wines that could be described as "budget." This Hautes-Cotes de Beaune, selling for $15 to $20 a bottle, is one of my candidates.
The color is a medium light garnet/ruby with bright lively tones. Smells coming from the glass are warm and aromatic--pomegranate, boysenberry and purple flowers. The wine has the delicacy to be expected from a fine Pinot Noir--light in body but rich in flavors of fresh red berries, cherries and a hint of Pnot earth. The earthy quality is actually much less prominent than in the Angeline California Pinot Noir reviewed below. I don't find many tannins, but there is a tensile strength that holds it all together. Sweet fruit with good acidity and a long finish. Reminds me of a wine from Nuits St. George, a nearby but much pricier appellation.