£12.95, Stannary Street Wine Co
It would be hard to find a better value Pinot Noir than this. It's all the more surprising because California isn't known as a hot source of mid-priced wines in the UK (very good at the top end) and Pinot Noir is a notoriously difficult grape variety to get right in a warm climate. But Scotto Cellars has given us a star: juicy and supple with succulent strawberry and raspberry fruit against a backdrop of subtle, toasty oak and a bright, fresh finish. With no discernible tannin, you can drink it on its own, but it would also go with salmon, tuna and all sorts of vegetarian tarts, chicken dishes and other poultry. The back story is that Scotto Cellars is a fifth-generation family wine producer based in Lodi, but the Grace Bridge Pinot grapes come from cooler Monterey County and Sonoma County. There's also a tiny amount of Syrah in the mix. This wine went down a storm at a tasting I gave at The Wine Gang summer festival recently, and so did other wines from Stannary Street Wine Co, a jewel of a wine merchant specialising in Burgundy, USA and Italy.
Grace Bridge California Pinot Noir 2013, United States
£12.95–£13.80, Stannary Street Wine Co, Honest Grapes, Uncorked, Old Bridge Wine Co, Appellation Nation