With its best vintage to date in 2009, Pinot Noir from California might be a category you want to stock up on. Littorai makes several different wines from grapes grown in Sonoma and Mendocino counties, at good prices to boot. Oregon also delivers a number of bargain Pinots. With today's economic woes and the high price of California Cabernet Sauvignon and blends, the Pedemonte Napa Valley offers welcome relief. When was the last time you kicked back with Lagrein? That's right, Lagrein. This grape, indigenous to Alto Adige, one of Italy's Alpine regions, can exhibit chewy tannins, yet the best versions manage to tame them while retaining the wine's dense, inky character, with plenty of herb notes. Wine Spectator's Bruce Sanderson explains.
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