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People often pay a premium for Pinot, and it is true that for a really stellar bottle, one has to be willing to shell out a pretty penny. But, for everyday drinking, there are affordable options. Our tasting panel sampled four that are under $15 and widely available. Much to our surprise and delight, the cheapest wine turned out to be their favorite.

Castle Rock 2014 Monterey County Pinot Noir

Grape(s): 100% Pinot Noir

Region: Monterey County, Ca

Price: 5-10

Tasting Notes:

There are lots of raspberries, strawberries, and pomegranates on the nose, backed by suggestions of sweet spice and apple-wood smoked bacon. Flavors of ripe red berries and pomegranate take shape on the palate, with accents of bacon, baking spice, and black tea. A wine with elegant tannins and lively flavors, it’s a great value for an everyday Pinot.

Rating: 89

Mark West “Black Label” 2015 Pinot Noir

Grape(s): 80% Pinot & 20% Syrah

Region: Monterey, Ca

Price: 10-15

Tasting Notes:

An abundance of blackberries and cherries come forth on the nose, followed by butterscotch, sweet spice, and earth. The palate blends black cherry, plum, and bramble fruit with elements of leather, butterscotch, and clove. Rather supple and a bit sweet but it still has a little hearty kick to it, pair a bottle with pork chops in a cherry sauce.

Rating: 86

Seaglass 2015 Pinot Noir

Grape(s): Pinot Noir

Region: Santa Babara County, Ca

Price: 10-15

Tasting Notes:

The nose mixes cherries and strawberries with accents of vanilla and earth. A pleasant acidity carries flavors of strawberry, cherry, and cranberry into suggestions of minerals, floral earth, and vanilla. Lively for a bargain Pinot, it would match up nicely with ratatouille.

Rating: 86

Acacia 2014 Pinot Noir

Grape(s): Pinot Noir

Region: Napa Valley, Ca

Price: 10-15

Tasting Notes:

Ripe strawberries and plums combine with spicy, smoky, and earthy highlights on the nose. Plum, strawberry, and cherry flavors form a nice fruit core that interweaves with rose petal, earth, and spice on the palate. There’s a nice acidity here to balance slightly jammy fruit; pair it with grilled salmon.

Rating: 87