The last couple days I have been drinking a 2009 Carmel Road pinot noir from up around Santa Rosa that ran me about $16.
This is my favorite of the pinots thus far this fall and winter. As soon as I got the nose I noticed something different from most of the other pinots I've drunk that I couldn't put my finger on. When I tasted it, it had interesting notes to it, more subtlety than most of the others.
The label isn't much help; it just says the usual red berries, 'warm spice', and 'mineral characteristic'. Maybe I'm getting the minerality; I've liked that in syrahs and French whites. This the first instance where I've thought, I really wish I was drinking this with an expert who could tell me what it is I'm tasting.
This was good for sipping and with some soup. The only one negative thing I'll say is it didn't hold well corked; 2 nights later when I finished it, it wasn't nearly as good, and most pinots I've drunk do ok for 2 days. All in all, though, my favorite pinot and a nice choice.