Even after sampling some very good Pinot Noir wines from the Anderson Valley and Carneros in California, this inexpensive Vin de Pays from Louis Latour still ranks high on my list of Pinots.
Medium ruby with a good saturated color. As always, some high pitched earthy aromas, almost volatile. The boysenberry fruit is quite forward and ripe in this vintage, but there is good acidity for aging. On the palate, it's almost like a Southern Rhone with pepper, spice and black licorice. Has evolved quite a bit from the last bottle I had more than a year ago, but there is still plenty to come.
Domaine de Valmoissine sells for about $14 at D&W FreshMarkets in west Michigan or at Cost Plus World Market. It's a wine that always seems close to being mature (maybe because of the volatility), but it hangs on nicely and improves for 10 to 12 years or more.