A young, fresh and fruity Chilean Pinot Noir that comes in at a very reasonable price (currently £7.50), this was an interesting wine that offered a fascinating evolution after opening. The first glass left me unconvinced despite encouragement from @wineanimal. He suggested it would improve given an hour or two, and to give him credit, he was right.
My first impressions were highly favourable. The colour was a lovely bright cherry red, the aromas suggested a fruit-dominated wine with a touch of coffee and chocolate; I was excited. Unfortunately, my first taste failed to live up to the anticipation. Although the flavours were very good, there was too much acidity, leaving my tongue tingling, and I was genuinely underwhelmed – it was as crisp as a Sauvignon Blanc to be perfectly honest, not what I wanted from a light soft red.
However, as advised I left it alone for a couple of hours and came back for a second bash, and boy was it worth it. The wine had lost its sharpness and bite, and was completely transformed into supremely soft, smooth and luscious stuff. The flavours were now running rampant around my mouth, the fruit and oak combining very well indeed, creating a warm, slightly cedary and bitter finish that I’ve not found in a Pinot Noir before, and leaving me with a distinctly enjoyable finish that persisted for a good while afterwards.
The experience was a useful reminder that it’s not always wise to judge a wine on first impressions alone, and also of the value to be found in opening a red a couple of hours before you plan to drink it. Many reds will soften round the edges and open up and show a lot more of their flavour and depth if they’ve had a chance to breathe a little first. Temperature counts too, as a red wine served too cold will remain fairly closed and refuse to give away much character or flavour – try and get them up to room temperature before drinking if you can.