The Exquisite Collection – New Zealand Pinot Noir (Aldi)

You could be forgiven for forgetting that Sauvignon Blanc isn’t the only grape variety grown in New Zealand. Walk into any supermarket, or even off licence, and you’re virtually guaranteed a choice of brands, if New Zealand Sauvignon is what you had in mind. Shame that we don’t get more regular offerings of the very reputable reds of the Hawke’s Bay region, the Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir of Marlborough, or the Rieslings of the cooler southern spots. So I admire Aldi for including a Kiwi Pinot Noir in their narrow range.

As Wineontrial has discussed before, it’s a notoriously tricky variety to grow successfully, and that impacts on costs. It’s probably also fair to say that its popularity, particularly that of the better quality examples, also pushes prices higher. So praise has to go to anyone who can manage to get a decent Pinot Noir onto the shelf and sell it for £6.99.

But this example isn’t decent. It’s excellent. It does all the things that a good Pinot Noir should do. It delivers lots of fruit. Red fruit in this case, as is typical, predominantly cherries with a few strawberries for added enjoyment. But there’s also a delightful, smoky, gamey, savoury note. The texture is opulent and rich, but the vibrant acidity keeps it light, and almost obscenely quaffable. At risk of causing an uproar, I have to say that the character of this wine is more than a little Burgundian.

The conclusion is simple. This is the best value for money Pinot Noir I’ve tasted to date. Bar none.

Tom BradfordThe Exquisite Collection – New Zealand Pinot Noir (Aldi)

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