A brand-new Fresh & Easy Pinot Noir from the Pays D’Oc for well under $10? I was equal parts curious, skeptical, and hopeful.
Well, curiosity is always rewarded, for better and for worse, and so it is in this case. The nose is promising, featuring earthy, gamey notes along with a bit of dried red fruit. There’s a pleasant early palate of sour cherry and tobacco, but the promise of the wine is, well, suspended by the overpowering tannins that pretty much crowd out everything else in the mouth - rather strange for typically low-tannin Pinot Noir.
After about an hour in the glass, the tannic sensation had subsided somewhat. After a few more hours, more fruit was available and the wine revealed itself as a pretty good, rustic red with decent varietal character.
Worth the $7, assuming you have ample time for aeration (I’d recommend pouring the whole bottle in a water pitcher or some such thing). And if you can get it on sale, as I did, for ~$5, even better.
Total value: 11.5/15