2007 Pyramid Valley Vineyards Growers Collection Calvert Vineyard Central Otago Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir can be tricky in New Zealand. One sip of the 2007 Pyramid Valley Calvert Vineyard Pinot from the Central Otago region, though, and I was convinced. What a terrific Pinot! It has everything going for it: deep-flavored fruit that tastes of dark cherries and earth; a good structure and velvety tannins; and that quality hardest to find, character. You would be hard-pressed to find a Burgundy this good at this price. Save a bottle for a special occasion.

Serve it with wild mushrooms, game birds, braised meats and gratins.

Keep an eye out for Pyramid Valley's Eaton Family Pinot Noir as well.

-- S. Irene Virbila

Region: Central Otago, New Zealand

Price: About $45

Style: Ripe and lush

What it goes with: Wild mushrooms, game birds, braised meats

Where to find it: Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463,; K&L Wine Merchants in Hollywood, (323) 464-9463,; Mission Wines in South Pasadena, (626) 403-9463,; Vendome Liquors in Beverly Hills, (310) 276-9463; Wine Exchange in Orange, (714) 974-1454 and (800) 76WINEX,; the Wine House in West Los Angeles, (310) 479-3731,; Woodland Hills Wine Co. in Woodland Hills, (818) 222-1111; and further north, 15 Degrees C Wine Shop in Templeton, (805) 434-1554; and DePalo & Sons in Shell Beach, (805) 773-1589,