For lovers of Pinot Noir, there is an ever-present tussle of great quality vs.  reasonable price.  As was thoroughly established in Chapter 46 of “The Wine Bargain Sleuth,” it is not difficult to cut that equation too thin in favor of bargain price, with the results often an abject disaster.  However, as many of you savvy wine sleuths have discovered, even in the rarefied air of Willamette Valley Oregon Pinots, there are definite values to be had.   Speaking of which, this month’s Value Wine is the Ken Wright Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2015, which retails for a mere $22 (and better yet, is available for under $20 with some sleuthing).    Unlike the putrid Pinots reluctantly sampled in the Value Wines with a College Budget tasting, the Ken Wright 2015 offering is quite rewarding, with a nuanced, classic Oregonian mouthful of raspberries and a dusting of smoke, with a dry, satisfying finish.  The Ken Wright 2015 is delightful as  a cocktail wine, yet with sufficient substance and acidity to pair beautifully with roasted pork tenderloin or crispy duck.  As many Oregon Pinot Noir fans are aware, most Ken Wright Pinot offerings are single-vineyard sourced and typically priced over $60; however the Ken Wright Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2015 breaks the mold  as a blend of terrific Willamette vineyards.  This Pinot Noir is widely available with 15,000 cases produced, and it has sufficient substance to be awarded a healthy 90 rating from the experts at Wine Spectator.   If this is not a Value Wine, then your humble Wine Bargain Sleuth is flat losing his touch.  Cheers!

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