26 December 2005

WBW 17: Red Kiwis

Given the subject of this WBW challenge, I bugged all of my greengrocers for Red Kiwis. Alas, none of the local shops had anything other than the fuzzy brown variety with green flesh. But I managed to find a Pinot Noir from the Place Down Under That Isn't Australia.

All joking aside, I've missed out on the past several Wine Blogging Wednesdays due to travel, inability to find something fitting, or simple forgetfulness. So I'm excited about this one, and I'm dedicating every sip to the good health of New Zealand Wine Blogger Barbara, currently recovering from surgery.

For this challenge I picked up a bottle of the 2003 Brancott Vineyards Marlborough Pinot Noir. Brancott is the US name for wines from Montana Wines in New Zealand. Obviously because we have a state named Montana (that is not well-known for its winemaking), the distributors chose a pseudonym for our market. For some reason I chose to photograph this wine next to my old naughty Altoids tin that sits beside the computer. Hey, it's also red...

Now this wine runs for $11 in Memphis. I had two choices for this challenge--get the bargain bottle from a producer who makes a Sauvignon Blanc that I love, or dish out thirty or forty bucks for an unknown. I had been honestly curious about the inexpensive Brancott bottle, and decided that this was the perfect opportunity to try it out. I've been burned on sub-$20 Pinot Noir many times, but I was happily surprised this time.

Not a lot of nose here, but there's a hint of very ripe strawberries. It's got a mild beginning, fruity middle, and a dry, slightly tannic finish. The overripe strawberry flavors dominate, but aren't overpowering. I'm sipping on this while eating a couple of slices of vegetarian pizza from a local joint (artichoke harts, feta cheese, black olives, sundried tomatoes, yum). Pinot Noir isn't your typical pizza wine, but this one is fun and not pretentious, and should be a good match for just about anything. And it would be an excellent starter Pinot Noir for anyone that's caught up in the Sideways hype but doesn't want to spent the dough for a decent Burgundy or Oregon bottle.

No comments: