I find it very hard to discover great values in Pinot Noir. Good ones can be found easily enough, but typically if a Pinot Noir is really good it's also really expensive. Every so often I do find an exception to the great value rule with Pinot, and today that exception is Evening Land Pinot Noir 2008.
This very nice Pinot is made with grapes sourced from the Willamette Valley in Oregon by consulting winemaking star Dominique Lafon. In your glass the wine is classic, medium red in color. The nose brings cherry, sour cherry, and strawberry fruit with a subtle earthy element. In your mouth you get much of the same fruit with the addition of some red plum. There is also a wonderful element of spice that makes Oregon seem a lot closer to Burgundy than it is to California. The acidity and subtle minerality brings structure and balance, and the wine has a very nice finish.
Overall, this is some really nice stuff that tastes a whole lot like a very nice Burgundy but without the barnyard. At a price in the low $20's, it is an outstanding value that would pair nicely with grilled salmon or a seared duck breast.