£21.99–£23.99, Ministry of Drinks, Mitchells Wines, Noel Young Wines
California wines don't feature here as often as I would like, or as often as perhaps they should. There are any number of wines I'd like to recommend, but the problem is usually price – expensive compared to wines from elsewhere. But that's just the way it is: land is expensive, there's a ready domestic market, etcetera. That said, the price of this single-vineyard Pinot Noir from the cool, coastal Santa Maria Valley seems eminently fair. With a few years under its belt, it still has sea-breeze freshness and sweetly fragrant cranberry, cherry and spice flavours, but there are now delicately mature, savoury, nutty, Earl Grey tea notes adding complexity. For those who want a world context: yes, it has Burgundian style, As for serving, it has good structure, so it's a wine for food, but I wouldn't overwhelm it with strong spices, heavily reduced sauces or sharp dressings, Herbs such as rosemary and thyme work well, and mature Pinot loves mushrooms, especially morels.
Cambria Benchbreak Pinot Noir 2013, Santa Maria Valley, California, US
£21.99–£23.99, Ministry of Drinks, Mitchell Vintners, Noel Young Wines