Thursday, July 14, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: ***+ $ Indomita Cantus Pinot Noir, Casablanca Valley, Chile, 2007 - BEST VALUE

Find pricing and retail availability for Cantus Pinot Noir .

Original Review, June, 2009: I am such an easy mark when I am on a mission. My mission has been to sniff around the world for a couple of moderately-priced, high-value pinot noirs. I have tasted more bad pinot noirs (and red Burgundy's from France, which are pinot noirs from the Burgundy region) than I care to recount right now. But still, the hunt is on...

Today, we are moving to Chile in stalking this elusive game. The prey is Vina Indomita - a winery in Casablanca Valley that makes wine from grapes sources both from the Casablanca Valley (primarily for their whites, but also their pinot noirs) and from Maipo Valley (mostly for the non-pinot noir reds). Indomita itself farms 1,200 acres of vineyards - and also produces chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, merlot and cabernet sauvignon... all of these are becoming increasingly common from these two regions in Chile.

Maipo Valley is located in central Chile, just south of Santiago in a region bound by the Andes Mountains to the east, the Coastal Range to the West, and the Maipo River to the north. Casablanca is located about 45 minutes north between Santiago and Valparaiso on the way to Viña del Mar.

Enough geography and anticipation... let's see what the wine itself delivers!

Review: Indomita Cantus Pinot Noir, 2007, Casablance Valley, Chile

Indomita's Cantus Pinot Noir, showing at 14.5 percent alcohol and poured from a screw cap bottle at cool room temperature, shows bright ruby red in the glass. Swirled at room temperature, it throws off bold, lollipop aromas. Not quite cherry, not quite raspberry - but surely reminiscent of chilhood pleasures. The alcohol also hits your nose, bringing a darker, more serious note.

On the palate, a pleasant flower attack shows first - something between violets and rose. It is sweet, fragrant, somewhat simple in the mouth, but pleasing to the cheeks. Finish is of sweet red cherries, fairly brief, but not showing the high alcohol content. As I would return to Cantus Pinot Noir, I award three stars out of five on the Spirit of Wine scale.

For its price, this is an outstanding value. For its price as a pinot noir, this is an unprecedented value. Might even stand up to a couple years of aging. I would recommend this to anyone who has sought bargain pinot noirs in the past and been horribly disappointed.

It certainly makes me intrigued by the rest of the Cantus varietal line.

Updated Review, about a year later,  now three years from vintage date, July, 2010:  Color now showing a touch of brick.  The fun, candy lollipop aromas are still there a year later.  On the palate, it remains one of the most floral pinot noirs I have enjoyed.  And enjoy it I do.  I must add a plus to the three stars for this exquisite floral pleasantness.  At its price, you must check out this pinot noir.  Following a long decant, three days under vacuum in a partially-filled bottle:   Candied aromas are present, but muted.  And just a bit tired on the palate too.  Ok to keep cellared for a year or two, but pass on the decanting and enjoy it fresher from the bottle.

Updated review, another year later, now four years from vintage date, July, 2011:  Color consistent.  Aromas still candy-poppy, with some motor oil showing on the edges.  Remains floral and fun, although I do not quite notice the expressiveness from a year earlier.  Recommend to drink now and not hold any longer. 

Find pricing and retail availability for Cantus Pinot Noir .

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