Monday, October 27, 2008

Aresti Reserve Pinot Noir 2006

Here's a review from Chris Macdonald, ANBL's "wine guy" that was originally posted in the "Make a Suggestion" thread. It got some good comments and Kelly and I finally tried the wine ourselves last night.

I would say that it doesn't have the classic Pinot character in they way that the Cono Sur Pinot does - but as Chris says, we all have our own idea of how Pinot should taste - and in any event, the bottom line is that this is outstanding value. We'd probably score even higher than Chris did - more like 89. And it is undoubtedly a 5/5 for value. Extremely impressive at this price.

Here's Chris's review:

"The Pinot Noir Reserva is a new offering from Aresti. I have tried the Aresti wine portfolio from top to bottom a few times and have found that overall, Aresti offers good value a >$15 (with exceptions) but struggles at the premium end.

With the Pinot Noir Reserva 2006, Aresti breaks through from reliable to very very good. This wine is made in California style. As I nosed it, I was reminded of some pricy California pinot. I found the aroma slightly more impressive than the first. It really opened up to deliver the goods. Generous (but pleasant) oak gave way to a solid core of red fruit that was enhanced by a soft but appreciable acidity and enough tannins(soft) to raise this wine above the ordinary.

Pinot Noir is a touchy subject for a lot of wine drinkers. We seem to have our own idea of how PN should taste. Not to mention PN's supposed quality link with "terroir". Please try this wine with an open palate and let me know what you think."

I've just tried this wine again (11 Nov '08) and I found the harsh finish mentioned by Tancred to be quite pronounced. I'm a bit less enthusiastic than I was the first time, so I'm revising my score.

Price: $13.79
Value: 5/5 (Chris) - 4/5(N)
Score: 87 (Chris) - 84(N)
Alcohol: 14%
Region D.O Curico Chile
Tasted: Oct 2008
ANBL UPC: 677855001218


  1. we tried this pinot on friday but it happened to be opened after an olmaia 2001 cab. definitely not a fair fight. the pinot came off poorly - vegetal, earthy (in a bad way) and harsh.

    we want to try it again though, on its own, before passing judgment

  2. I'd say it's definitely worth another try.

    As usual, I tasted this wine blind. I didn't identify it as a pinot - and I very rarely fail to identify a pinot - but I quite liked it. It reminded me of a new world GSM initially, and then later I might have guessed it was Italian. As Chris said, it's initially best on the nose, but then it opens up quite a lot. My notes mention raspberries, floral aromas, earth, stewed fruit, and spices. At the price, this wine is spectacular value.

  3. tried this again on its own (though not blind). same earthy notes and somewhat harsh on the finish. good but definitely not great.
    can't quibble with the price though as this pinot is quite drinkable and vg value for money. there are cheap pinots out there that are wretched. on balance i prefer the cono sur. someone should organize a blind tasting of inexpensive pinots and see how they rate.

  4. Norman also prefers the Cono Sur. (I didn't have enough of it to comment.) A pinot tasting is a great idea. We have some not-so-inexpensive pinots that we can add to the mix, which I think would be very interesting.