2021 Famille Roux Père & Fils “Les Côtilles”, Pinot Noir, Vin de France (Alcohol 13%, Residual Sugar 2 g/l) LCBO $19.10 (750ml bottle)
I believe it to be true that, for the most part, if one purchases a Pinot Noir for under $20, it just doesn’t taste anything like Pinot Noir. It appears to be the case that winemakers are pretty much incapable of capturing the essence of that grape in a bottle at that particular price point.
But then there’s this charming little wine from Burgundian Négociant Roux Pere & Fils, a Vin de France with some as-yet undisclosed grape sourcing, but I’m thinking it’s from across Southern France, as there’s a lot more Pinot grown down there than one may first imagine. I’ve tasted some pretty terrible Pinots from the south, but in the right spots, and with a little bit of care, there’s the potential for some rather good juice.
The punchy, plummy fruit on the nose here is really most appealing, and yes, it really does have those alluring Pinot Noir aromatics: cherries, strawberries, raspberries, just a kiss of oak, and a gorgeous hit of peppery rotundone. The fruit may be super ripe, but it’s still cooler climate, with seriously juicy cranberry-like acidity, firm but ripe tannins, and a very pleasant but slightly acerbic fruit finish.
You would be extremely hard-pushed to find a better Pinot Noir for the money in the Ontario market. Maybe it’s not really a fair comparison, but I’ve tasted many Burgundian Pinot Noirs at many times this price that have been less drinkable than this. Kudos must go to Roux Pere & Fils for this one, as it’s a real winner.
(Three and a half out of a possible five apples)