Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Yet more monkey biz...

Ok, can we say we've been saturated with the 'animal' or 'cute critter' labels?

What we have here is a wine which appears to be imported in bulk containers from France and bottled here in the states. It's the right varietal (Pinot Noir), has a cutesy 'animal label', and a clever brand name pun - 'Pinot Evil'.

The price point won't hurt your wallet either (you'll probably find it at the $4~$5 range).

Is there anything wrong with it? Absolutely not...though you might have to adjust your expectations downward somewhat...it borders on the watery-thin side, and doesn't have much to offer in the way of fruit intensity or depth - in fact it's pretty damned one dimensional. There is the very-slightest-note-you-may-ever-detect of bandaids and phenol which evolves when the glass has been standing after emptied, but I think most everyone would miss it, and it doesn't stray into the 'barnyard' descriptors, so it gets a 'pass' on that point.

On the good side, you can count that this is yet another avenue for the French excess to be absorbed (and I think everyone worldwide would be happier to see the French NOT rioting), it trades on Pinot's current high demand (so impulse buys will be strong), it's got an attractive price tag, and...Susie & Jake Midwest can say they're drinking French wines.

On the bad side...? This is already being done (Two-buck-chuck, [yellowtail], etc.), and quite frankly being done with more concentration. For some of the new drinkers experimenting with French wines it really isn't going to sell them on the 'classic' wine country if it's all they ever try (hopefully this will not be the case).

If this is to be anything more than just a short-term effect to shore up the French industry it will have to have more 'IT' in it...it's a little obvious why this wine is in excess right now, and the preliminary impulse buys will probably not be repeated.

But again, it IS drinkable, and at $4~$5 /bottle, who could really get upset about it.

One thought to leave you with: have the French tasted their 'excess wines' againt the Indian domestic wines? Might be worth a look to them.


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