At nine years old, with 14.5% alcohol, the 2011 Rodney Strong Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County, cost under $24 and scored a charming 16+ points on the 20-point Dionysian scale.
It was filled with cherry! Smoky oak and even walnut hints mixed with red fruits. It was balanced and ideal for dinner.
The alcohol level is at my maximum for most red wines, but I think Pinot Noir has to be no more than 14%. (Personal preference)
2011 had a cool spring in Sonoma followed by a dry and mild summer so the grapes were harvested at perfection. We enjoyed it with a pasta-cheese dish. Wine seems to make everything a little better. In Vino Veritas.