Certain things in the wine world hit my sweet spot. That could certainly be particular grapes or styles of wine. But one thing that hits my sweet spot almost every time is a solid value. I’m a firm believer that at any price point a wine can be a value for the quality and style it represents in its category. However in this case I’m talking about everyday values. This is a huge category of wine; numerous categories lumped together at times actually, aimed at people’s everyday drinking budget. Wine lovers are always on the hunt for something that tastes good, offers some depth and doesn’t cost a ton. Trouble is that the vast category of everyday value contains lots of unpleasant or at the very least anonymous wines. We’ve all had them, you take a sip, then another and all you can do is confirm, “yup that’s wine.” What that represents to me is sadness, because there are lots of delicious wines available that are well made and offer excellent value. Here’s a look at a terrific one in the most difficult category of all in my opinion, value priced Pinot Noir. The Brancott Estate 2011 Marlborough Pinot Noir was produced from fruit sourced in the namesake region. This wine is entirely Pinot Noir. The vines used represent a handful of different Pinot Noir clones allowing for a broader flavor profile. After harvesting the fruit was destemmed and cold soaked for four days prior to fermentation utilizing an array of yeast strains. This Pinot was aged over four months in a combination of stainless steel and oak. This wine is widely available around the country and has a suggested retail price of $12.99. However it often sells for closer to $10, so shop around.
Wild strawberry and mushroom aromas abound on the nose of this Pinot Noir. Subtler hints of black cherry are present as well. The palate is gentle and layered with a host of both red and black cherry flavors. An undercurrent of spices plays off of these and offers a nice counterpoint. Rhubarb, bits of earth, black tea and minerals are all in evidence on the finish which has terrific length for the price point. This wine will pair well a broad array of foods as is typical for well made Pinot Noir. However it also drinks quite beautifully all by itself.
The Brancott 2011 Pinot Noir is an exceptional value. It’s hard to find reasonably good Pinot for under $20 let alone for closer to $10. Here’s on that’s just studded with loads of varietal character. There won’t be any question you’re drinking Pinot Noir here, something that can be a problem in the value category. This wine is excellent now and it’s certainly aimed at early consumption, however don’t hesitate to buy a case and drink it over the next 3 years as it will stand up for awhile. However I doubt a case will last you that long; this is a very appealing wine that you’ll be tempted to share with friends and bring to parties.