Must-Try of the Week: 2011 Birichino Saint Georges Central Coast Pinot Noir

Good, cheap pinot noir

Good, cheap pinot noir is an oxymoron, but this wine is an exception. Pronounced (biri-kino), and meaning naughty or mischievous in Italian, it’s sourced from the Santa Cruz Mountains and produced by Bonny Doon alumni Alex Krause and John Locke. The nose is rich in aromas of well-spiced berries and cherries. It’s elegant and flavorful, offering a mix of fruits including dark cherries and raspberries, with supple tannins and a dry finish. Nicely crafted and easy to like, this wine is a prime-time performer at the dinner table. Pair it with roasted duck breast with pomegranate reduction sauce, or a BLT with heirloom tomato and apple wood-smoked bacon. $18.99 to $22.95, 13.5 percent alcohol, screw cap.

At Wine Exchange in Orange, 1500 E. Village Way, 714-974-1454; 2177 N. Batavia St., 714-283-2079,; and Hi-Time Wine Cellars, 250 Ogle St., Costa Mesa, 949-650-8463,

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