Great day in the Rock. 76 and sunny and spring is in the air. Before I start raving about today's reviewed wine I wanted to say a big thanks to Jessica over at ContraCostaTimes. She checked out 365corks.com and was kind enough to mention us in her latest post. She's got a great blog, known as Corkheads, that I've added to my Joints I Like list. Also wanted to mention Megan over at Wannabe Wino. She and I like similar wines and she does a great job reviewing what she's tried. She's also quite prolific! Check both of those sites out if you get a chance as you won't be disappointed. And if you pick up today's featured wine you won't be disappointed either. How's that for a segue? First of all let me tell you that I was extremely skeptical about the 2005 Jewel Pinot Noir and almost didn't buy it. After all, there it sat, on the end cap of a display, proudly displaying its pitiful $7.49/bottle price. Now if you've read ANY of my posts you'll know that I've been unable to find a decent Pinot Noir for under $20 so I guess you could call this one a mercy purchase. I figured I would go ahead and buy it, uncork and discover that it tasted like every other cheap pinot, and pledge never to buy it again. All of my preconceived notions, I'm happy to report, were quickly dashed. After uncorking and allowing about 30 minutes to breathe and warm a little, I poured a glass and was surprised to see a delightful, dark ruby red color swirling in the glass. The nose revealed an overpowering, in a good way, sense of "earthiness" and cranberry. As I've had good experiences with earthy-nosed wines, I started to get interested in this. My first taste revealed a full-bodied pinot with dark cherry flavors followed up with the cranberry that the nose had revealed. The finish was absolutely perfect with a nice, soft tannin. The rest of the bottle just affirmed how good this wine really was. Giving this one 5 corkscrews was probably the easiest rating I've ever come up with. No hesitation whatsoever and I implore you to pick up a bottle of this if you see it. As mentioned I paid $7.49/bottle but this could easily justify a price to $18-20. It really is that good! Sit Long, Talk Much, Laugh Often, Drink Wine!