What's better than an expensive wine that deserves a review? An expensive wine that is marked down from its suggested list price.
The Wine Curmudgeon is a fan of Oregon's King Estate, which makes more expensive wines but almost always does so with value in mind. Its pinot noirs are an excellent example of this. They're not quite as pricey as their California and Oregon counterparts, but always seem to deliver just as much quality. And their Acrobat line is about as close as you'll get to top-notch discounted pinot noir and pinot gris.
The Signature ($29, sample) is no exception. It's classic Oregon pinot noir -- some cherry fruit, minimal tannins, enough acid to offset the fruit, and only 13 percent alcohol. In this, it's the way pinot noir should be -- lighter and more delicate than cabernet sauvignon and merlot, which is something that too many pinot producers have lost sight of.
And the price? This is a previous vintage, and when it arrived at the end of last year, the wine cost $34. Today, it's listed on the King web site for $29, and a quick Wine-Searcher check found it for as little as $20. Considering the awful, tannic and harsh pinots that cost $20, this is a steal.