2007 Bogle Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

Honesty. It's a great policy.

These days it's darn near impossible to find a drinkable Pinot for under $20. Finding a tasty one for under $30 is equally challenging.

Thank God for Bogle.

With a well-deserved reputation for respectable quality at reasonable prices, Bogle scores again with this bottling. Made of 92% Russian River Valley and 5% Anderson Valley fruit, this is what California Pinot should taste like. Plenty of fruit, good structure, and nice spice. It doesn't attempt to be anything it isn't and you've got to love it for that. Good, honest Pinot Noir.

Give it time open to let the slight funk give way to aromas bordering on serious. A 3% dash of Chardonnay (yeah, Chardonnay) gives it that nose. We can't go so far as to say that our knees went wobbly with this one, but, damn, we made sure to squeeze the last drop out of the bottle (and there was some sip-stealing going on, too.). And at this price, that's an experience worth repeating.

We paid $15.99 for this bottle, but you might find it for as low as $11.99 where you live. Chris Smith, winemaker at Bogle, tells us that 40,000 cases of this stuff was produced, meaning that you should be able to find it close by. And you should.

You really can't go wrong with pretty much anything these guys turn out, but this one really stands out. (So does this one.)

Rating: Yummy, stock up.