Wrap your hands around a bottle of Pali Wine Co. Pinot Noir — OK, Pali’s affordable appellation-specific wines. The ones around the $20 mark. Not $40-$50. The 2010 Pali “Huntington Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara County is a siren of cherries, raspberries, dark chocolate and vanilla. It melts in the mouth. It fills the palate with sumptuous fruit, supple tannins, lovely oak that weaves through the flavors and acidity for backbone. It’s made by Aaron Walker and consulting winemaker Kenneth Juhasz. The owners are from Pacific Palisades, hence the name “Pali.” All the wines are named for neighborhoods in Pacific Palisades. Wine Spectator gave this baby 90 points. Pali was founded by two businessmen, Tim Perr and Scott Knight, in 2005. They started out making single-vineyard, appellation-specific Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays — wines costing $40 to $50 because of their Super ZIP codes. In 2007, they decided to tone down the prices with the Cuvee Program, hence Pinots like this Santa Barbara beauty costing in the neighborhood of $20.
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