Wine of the week: Luc Pirlet Pinot Noir Barriques Reserve 2010
The Wine Curmudgeon's winning streak with cheap pinot noir from the Languedoc region of France continues. First, there was the Tortoise Creek, and now there is the Luc Pirlet ($10, purchased). Who'd have thought this was possible, given the region's problems with pinot noir?
Frankly, this was much, much better than I expected (being the curmudgeon that I am). It has moderate black fruit, plus some pepper and earthiness. What's missing is what I expected to find — that New World kind of fruitiness that makes cheap pinot taste like it could have been made anywhere in the world. But this is 100 percent pinot noir, so the flabby fruit that comes from adding syrah or grenache is missing.
It's not quite as well done as the Tortoise Creek, but it's still a stunningly well-made $10 bottle of pinot noir — let alone from a region where pinot has such a sorry history. This is a candidate for the $10 Hall of Fame, and yes, Mom, would appreciate it over the weekend. Drink this on its own, or with burgers, barbecue or meatloaf. Who knew pinot, normally so expensive and often overpriced, could turn into a midweek dinner kind of wine?