Sorry Aldi – I did not like your wines, but it is not nice to call them ridiculous. I just couldn’t resist after my last blog post.
The context for my focus on Aldi is that I am working my way through my case of Paparuda Pinot Noir, which I rate highly for the price, and I am planning my next case-purchase of decent uncomplicated Pinot. The Paparuda has now moved on to the 2014 vintage I think, though it is no longer explicitly mentioned on the label, and I had a glass of Aldi Pinot Noir that I quite liked some time ago.
So I thought I would try a bottle with a view to getting a case. But when I arrived at Aldi, I discovered they had two(!) Pinot Noirs, so I got a test bottle of each and opened them both with dinner last night. A quick impression of which one I like best can be obtained from the levels in the bottles the following morning.
Pinot Noir, Vignobles Roussellet, Vin de France, non-vintage, 12.5%, £4.40
Medium ruby. Fresh on the nose. Confected fruit, doubtless as a result of carbonic maceration. Medium acidity. Low but detectable astringency. Could easily be a Beaujolais. Pleasant enough, but no Pinot character, and thin **
Pinot Noir, Premium Selection, Estevez, Quinta de Maipo, Chile, 2013, 13.0%, £5.00
Medium pale ruby garnet. Intensely woody. Oak chips perhaps? Rather unpleasant. Medium acidity. Low but detectable astringency. Decent length, but I wish the flavour would go away faster. Cannot find the fruit for the woodiness *
Yes I know these wines are cheap, and I freely admit I do not have much experience at this end of the market, but all I can say is that I personally would not buy more at any price. If you want a cheapish Pinot Noir, my recommendation would still be the Paparuda – available from £5.40, but generally it’s just above £6.00. If on the other hand you are in Aldi anyway, walk past their Pinot Noir and instead pick up a bottle of the bargain Crémant du Jura.
Update: Three days later with the wine being stored in the fridge, the Chilean wine is a lot better. The oak has receded and the fruit is coming through – dark berry fruit that with the palate of faith could even be Pinot Noir. I think now a solid ** . I don’t usually find wines improve like this. They may change, but usually in the downwards oxidative direction in my experience.