There is no such thing as a textbook Pinot Noir. The grape has far too wide a range of expression to be able to pin it down. It can be light, it can be heavy. Thin or thick. Colorful or dark. Moody or cheery. Acidic or mellow. Sour or sweet. Pinot is the Meryl Streep of grapes—it can pretty much play any character. And if you could draw a line straight down the middle from the opposite ends of the character spectrum—that’s where the 2012 ANABA Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir lives. Great balance, round, bright fruit, and beautiful acidity and freshness. Notes of bing cherry, raspberry, allspice and tea leaves. And very classy, which is what you get when your grapes come from the Sonoma Coast appellation. One word to sum it up: congenial. So maybe this is the Sandra Bullock of Pinot Noir wines, from Miss Congeniality to The Proposal to The Blind Side to Gravity—just so darn likeable and approachable, with a great deal of class, strength and cerebral power beneath the surface. –J.M.