Monday, April 19, 2010

Followup Pinot Noir Tasting...

As a followup to our investigation of the Gallo French Pinot that might not actually be a Pinot, I gathered some friends to check the wine and compare it to other inexpensive Pinots.

One taster's comment as soon as he tried the Gallo Red Bicyclette: "Hmm. Lacks varietal character." I swear I didn't prompt him!

We then tried some other cheap Pinots for comparison, a $9 Castle Rock that tasted much better than that; a $9 Australian Little Penguin with a lot of flavor, though more aggressive in style; a $20 Vichon that was dead, dead, dead, though it was only an '06 - surprised the heck out of us. And one of the group brought a Chandon priced around $35 that brought the entire evening to a delightful conclusion!

Conclusions: 1. The Red Bicyclette was marginally drinkable but you couldn't tell what grape(s) it was made from; 2. there are other cheap PNs out there that have more flavor and more Pinot qualities, though none are showstoppers; 3. $9 Castle Rock is as enjoyable as everybody says it was, and easily the best tasting value; 4. It's possible to pay $20 and wish you had a $6 Pinot, and 5. Chandon shows it's possible to pay $35 and get that heartstopping Pinot experience!

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