Monday, June 20, 2011

2009 Cycles Gladiator Pinot Noir

This is a $10 Pinot Noir that doesn't make excuses. It's enjoyably savory, meaty, and slightly more than medium-bodied with faint pepper. In some ways it seems closer to an Old World Burgundy style of wine, with vegetal flavors (to me, tomato) and moderate alchohol levels. At the same time, it has a rich, full flavor throughout with a big and pleasant acidity in the middle in the New World style.

The wine lacks the minerality and complex finish of the best Pinot Noirs, but hey, it only costs $10. In this price range, most Pinots lack interesting flavor, have noticeable defects, or come across as either anorexic (too thin) or over-fruity. Cycles Gladiator has none of those problems. It would be great if more winemakers could deliver Pinot Noirs like this for $10.

If you want to compare two types of Pinot Noirs on a budget, savory-meaty vs. earthy-fruity, try this in a blind tasting with a Hahn Estates Pinot Noir.

In wine-bullshit jargon: "Salted saddle leather and stewed San Marzano tomatoes with a pleasing mouthfeel."

Profile: Minimal sweetness, minimal tannins, medium or greater acidity, medium or medium-full body.
Flavors: Meat with pepper, faint salt and tomato.
Rating: 86
Cost: $10
Value: Good Buy (explanation)

No comments:

Post a Comment