Pinot Noir is a hard grape to grow – its thin skin makes it more susceptible to temperature fluctuations, sunburn, fungus and a host of other problems. It’s also typically a low-yielding variety, meaning growers often get fewer grapes from a Pinot Noir Vineyard than they might from say a Sauvignon Blanc one. On top of that, Pinot is in high demand globally and is one variety wine lovers are willing to pay a premium for. In other words, it’s expensive to make and even more expensive to buy. So what are the chances of today’s wine Frontera Pinot Noir – $9 at BWS – being any good?
On the face of it – not great, especially because BWS is frankly not the cheapest place to buy wine. A $15 wine there is often a $10 wine at Dan Murphys. But then Frontera is a Chilean producer and if anyone can produce decent wine cheaply these days its the South Americans.
My interest in this particular wine was piqued when one of this site’s readers, Hamish, suggested I check it out. I wouldn’t say he endorsed it exactly, but he found something of interest in it. We’re all about good value wines here so I was never going to ignore a tip for a $9 Pinot. So, How is it?
The Review: Frontera Pinot Noir 2017
It smells very Pinot-ish – cherries, roses and earth. There’s a bit of a reductive pong but that disappears after 20 minutes or so. Overall, it’s a pretty impressive nose for a wine at this price. So there’s a tick. It’s light bodied with a nice fruity palate that’s let down by an overly tart finish. I wouldn’t exactly call it well balanced but there’s some interest here. It’s about as good as sub $10 Pinot gets