2012 Martin Ray Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County

I'm not one to drink a lot of value Pinots. Pinot Noir is a difficult grape to grow and unless treated well both in the vineyard and by the winemaker, doesn't make an impressive wine. This means there's not much to be had for less than $15 that I would consider drinkable. From a value standpoint then, if I'm spending $25 or less on a bottle of Pinot, I consider it a pretty good deal.

The Martin Ray from Santa Barbara fits right into that mold for me. It reminded me of an Oregon Pinot, slightly musty and mushroomy on the nose with tart cherry and cranberry fruit. Light body, and not complex, but tasty enough for an everyday wine. For less than $20, I was happy with the purchase. I wouldn't seek it out, but would happily drink it again.

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