Sunday, May 8, 2011

Spirit of Wine Review & Rating: ***+ $$ TerraNoble Pinot Noir Reserva (Terra Noble), 2008, Casablanca Valley, Chile

Find Casablanca Valley Pinot Noir  pricing and retail availability.

By way of background, original review, November, 2009: TerraNoble Pinot Noir Reserva is from the Chile region of Casablanca Valley. It is a rare example of a value-priced pinot noir with relatively high ratings (90 points from Jay Miller of Wine Advocate). Spirit of Wine has been hunting value-priced pinot noirs for years, with only modest success. Let's see if TerraNoble (sometimes spelled "Terra Noble") stands up to the test.

In the glass: TerraNoble Pinot Noir Reserva shows as light to medium red in the glass, transparent throughout.

On the nose: Popped, poured and swirled, aromas are funky, deep pools of black, oily, tobacco, backed up with thick blackberry fruit.

On the palate: A black raspberry fruit touches your tongue first, prickly, sweet and husky. Charcoal black cherry moves up along the sides of your cheeks, with a definite acid twang offsetting the sweet fruit.

And the finish: From the roof of your mouth, a sweet raspberry finish slowly drains along your cheeks. Long finish, touched with just a touch of cloying sweetness.

In summary: Full throttle experience, bringing fruit and charcoal and lushness and acids. I'd look for a return engagement, generating three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for intensity. This one is worth watching over time too.

This is an excellent value at its modest price. I've only experienced as high a value/price relationship in pinot noir with other Chile offerings, the Veranda Pinot Noir, from Casablanca Valley, and Pinot Black from Limari Valley.

As I mentioned, Jay Miller liked this too, writing, "Smoke, coffee bean, black cherry, and black raspberry aromatics lead to a ripe, smooth, elegant wine with a lengthy, pure finish. It is a superb introduction to the delights of Pinot Noir."

Updated review, a year and a half later, May, 2011:  Charcoal-broiled blackberry on the nose.  Palate remains quite consistent, with a luscious black cherry robe defining the experience, with sweet and full acids bringing the sip to its slow finish.  Any residual sugar in the finish has evaporated.  Has held quite consistent with time.  I dare you to find another pinot noir with aging potential at this price point!  Remains an excellent value. 

Find Casablanca Valley Pinot Noir  pricing and retail availability.

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