New Zealand Pinot Noir As Bargain

************************************************Pinot Noir has the potential to be an excellent wine suitable for many dishes and occasions. The cost however hinders drinking of the better Pinots as basic everyday wine. I find this a great angle to seek New Zealand Pinot Noir as an area with potential for everyday drinking. Every major region has inexpensive Pinot Noir but the quality almost always gets sacrificed to make value quantity possible. I find very reasonable priced Pinot Noirs (as I do with California Cab Sauv) of good quality infrequently but since New Zealand makes very good Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc at great prices the Pinot Noir may be worth seeking out as a reasonably priced PN. Good value finds should not be a rarity as are in other regions.

from Good Wine Under $20 by (Dr. Debs)

Wine drinkers who love Pinot Noir and have to watch the bottom line can have a tough time finding good bottles for under $20. I’m not talking about searching for a $15 bottle of Pinot Noir that will rival a $50 bottle from Burgundy or elsewhere. My sights are set lower–I just want a bottle of Pinot that doesn’t taste like liquefied raspberry jam.

This week I got a reminder that New Zealand can be a good source for such bottles, when I opened up a 2006 Catalina Sounds Pinot Noir from New Zealand’s Nelson region ($18.93, Garagiste; available elsewhere for $19-$21).

This was a lovely Pinot Noir for under $20, one that managed to be open and lacy without being weak and insipid. And though it was fruity, it did not have the jammy intensity that I think can ruin Pinot Noir. Instead, the wine had raspberry and mineral aromas and flavors accented by a touch of earthiness that deepened them nicely.

For me, though, it was the texture of this wine that made it stand out. Texture is important to me when I drink Pinot Noir–maybe more than it is for most people. I want my Pinot Noirs to have a seductive silkiness of texture. This wine had it, the silkiness turning gossamer and airy in the aftertaste.

While the wine lacked the complexity to make it truly outstanding, this was a very good QPR bottle–and I would buy another vintage of Catalina Sounds Pinot Noir without hesitation.

And note to self: remember to check out the New Zealand aisle next time Pinot Noir is on the shopping list.


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