Macaron 2011 Pinot Noir

IGT della Venezie, Italy; 12.5% ABV
$5 at the Richmond, CA, store on 3 July

Macaron_2011_PinotNoirNortheastern Italy has given us some nice lighter, aromatic reds, so, although I had never heard of Italian Pinot Noir, I eagerly picked this up despite the corny name and label.  At least on the first night, it wasn’t really what I expected.

The wine starts out with pleasant, light red raspberry and cherry fruit, but the darker and richer finish promises more with air.  I think it was fully aired after about 1:45 in a decanter, when it showed flavors of dark cherry / plum, dark red or black raspberry, with some earth and spice, in a medium body.  Instead of being delicate, acid, and aromatic as I had expected, it was darker, richer, and riper, although not coming close to a heavier Californian Pinot Noir.  As far as flavors go, I almost didn’t recognize it as a Pinot Noir, and found it a little bland and dull.

I liked the second half (stoppered in a 375ml bottle with very little air) much better.  The wine showed flavors I found more recognizably Pinot-like along the usual cherry, orange, and earth lines, and it had more of the tangy acid I associate with northern Italian reds.  Anyway, for the price, I think it’s quite good and, especially if you like Italian wine, it’s definitely worth trying.  I’d love to hear anyone else’s take on it.

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9 thoughts on “Macaron 2011 Pinot Noir

  1. BargainWhine Post author

    Seedboy commented that he found this wine tasted of pruney stewed fruit. My recollection from the bottle I drank for this review is that there was some prune flavor, but not a whole lot, and it was very close to what I called “earth.” Tonight, however, I opened another bottle. In an effort to get the “stored bottle” effect on the first night, I decanted it and covered it (rubberbanded a plastic bag over the top of the decanter) about noon today and opened it around 5:30. The result is sort of an average of the two halves of the first bottle. It’s fruity with dark cherry / plum, with some of the lighter cherry, orange, and earth / prune and pleasant acid. I will agree with Seedboy that the character of the fruit is a bit stewed, meaning cooked and a little oxidized. Overall, I still like this wine for the price, although less than I liked the first bottle.

    Reply
  2. GOWineLover

    I recognize Macaron from cheap prosecco carried in Sprouts Markets in CA when they were (crazily enough) 3 for $10. The prosecco was pretty bland and dull so it is nice to know this wine is decent. Given prosecco being 2/$9 for a long time in 2013/14, I’m not sure how good this pricing is…

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi GOWineLover. A quick online search indicates a price of about $12 – $14, so it seems the discount is in the usual range of 40% – 70%.

      Reply
  3. Seedboy

    I’m interested to try this wine. I was first served an Italian pinot noir at a fine restaurant in NE Italy in 2000. It was light in body but varietally correct and was really lovely with my dinner, which included cubes of beef tongue served with an aspic flavored with currants and horseradish.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      That must have been quite the meal to remember it so well 14 years later.
      I did not see this wine at the Berkeley store yesterday, or anything new for that matter. Please let us know what you think if you find it.

      Reply
      1. seedboy

        It was. Within a year the place had earned its third Michelin star. I was at both Berkeley and Oakland yesterday and while I saw some new cheap Italian wines (and Oakland now has those Argentinian half bottles for $1.99 each) I did not see this.

        Reply
        1. Darrell

          Yes, I was wondering about the restaurant since it combined horseradish in an aspic. Did the restaurant jump from two to three stars within that year? There is one place in NY city that skipped the two star and went from one to three due to patrons complaining about the one star.

          Reply

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