I recently visited the Willamette Valley, just outside Portland, Oregon. It is arguably, and many would say not arguably, the best region in the United States for Pinot Noir.

I tasted, and purchased a few, high-end Pinot Noirs. They are nestled safely in my wine storage cooler and basement.

That being said, I’ve read a lot about New Zealand Pinot Noir the last year or so. I visited The Bottle Shop in West Lafayette Saturday and came across a couple of New Zealand Pinots.

At the recommendation of one of the shop people, I bought a bottle of Dashwood Pinot Noir. I shared that bottle with a friend Sunday night. It was suprisingly good for the price point.

Many wine people will tell you a decent bottle of Pinot Noir – less than $20 is very hard to find. And, up until last night, I certainly agreed.

The Dashwood was actually quite good! It wasn’t as big as many of the great Pinots I tasted in Oregon, but it was much better with bigger flavor than many of the wines I’ve tasted through the years in the same price range.

I believe I paid $14 or $15 for it. I found it online as cheap as $13. I can safely say it’s one of the best Pinots I’ve tasted under $20. It has a hint of cherry, a nice “stank” on the nose, and a beautiful finish for an inexpensive wine.

It has a screw top too! It’s widely available, I recommend picking up a bottle and giving it a try!