Winemaker’s Lot Santa Rita Pinot Noir (Tesco)

Back to the minefield of keenly priced Pinot Noir (PN). This Chilean is a new addition to Tesco’s range and it looks like the normal price will be £7.99, with an introductory (perhaps to-be-repeated) offer price of £5. Searching for a simple, inexpensive PN to accompany a range of food on New Year’s Day, I crossed my fingers, parted with a fiver and gave this bottle a spin.
The big risk with the ‘New World’ (i.e. ‘not European’) PNs is that they can taste quite ‘jammy’, especially when the grapes were ripe enough to produce a 13.5% ABV wine (as in this case). Jammy suits some people, not others. Others will look for pure, fresh-tasting fruit in their PNs. I suppose the label on Winemaker’s Lot PN hints at that style by using the word ‘juicy’, but I was still anticipating jammy.
Wrongly, it turned out. The first scent (and later on, flavour) to hit you from this wine is very much akin to crushed, but still fresh, raspberries. And I should know, having crushed some earlier on that day to prepare dessert. 
Not wanting to be a one-trick pony, this PN follows up with other, darker fruits, probably more blackcurrant than anything else, and a little spice. This isn’t your typical red wine spice though, and I don’t mind admitting to having had some difficulty in placing it. There is a similarity to juniper berries, though less pungent. Green pepper also came to mind, but possibly just out of hopeless desperation to liken every taste in a wine to something else.
With Winemaker’s Lot, Tesco are offering up a PN that bucks the trend of those from the warm climates of the New World (although I will avoid causing an uproar by comparing it to the PNs of a certain region in Eastern France). It could easily be used either as a crowd pleaser, or as something to challenge the palate of a connoisseur. And if you do try it, please let me know what you liken the spice to. I may be troubled by this conundrum for some time to come.

Tom BradfordWinemaker’s Lot Santa Rita Pinot Noir (Tesco)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *