A Wine Lover’s Weekly Review Of $10 Wines – Another Pinot Noir From Languedoc, France

Over the course of years we have done lots and lots of Pinot Noirs, not surprisingly many of which come from France. This is not our first from that longtime up and coming region of Languedoc, one of the few French wine areas that habitually labels the bottle with the variety. George Duboeuf is a major French wine producer, quite well known for its Beaujolais Nouveau. Wait for November and maybe we will review another one of these pearls if you get my drift. Unfortunately their web site doesn’t talk about their vineyards or this particular wine. This bottle carries the unprestigious Pays d’Oc Indication Geographique Protegee appellation. The companion wine is another Pinot Noir, one coming from Australia’s southernmost wine region, the island of Tasmania at half again the price.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Hob Nob Pinot Noir, George Duboeuf 2011 12.5 % alcohol about $10.

Let’s start by quoting the marketing materials.. “Tasting Note : bright ruby colour with pink rim; cherry and raspberry aromas; dry, medium body; juicy ripe berry flavour with medium finish. Serving Suggestion : serve with poached salmon.” And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was sweet, offering earthy, light tannins and acidity. The initial meal centered on slowly-cooked beef ribs. The libation’s acidity perked up but its sweetness was still out of line. Simultaneously cooked potatoes did not provide offer much of a change. Carrots tamed the drink’s acidity; not that it had been untamed. I smeared a healthy dose of Yemeni green jalapeno pepper sauce on the meat and the wine took on the condiment’s power. Fresh raspberries for dessert rendered our Languedoc friend steely.

The second meal focused on spicy ground beef with peas and wisps of tomatoes. The dominant flavor was bubble gum, interestingly enough a default often noted in Beaujolais Nouveau. On the plus side there was some darkness accompanied by balanced acidity and tannins. Relatively tasteless steamed quinoa rendered the fermented juice slightly sharper while bringing out chocolate. Chinese chili sauce on the meat had no effect on my glass. Fresh cherries rendered the liquid dark and long, itself tasting of black cherries, and offering delicious acidity.

The final meal kicked off with Japanese rice crackers that were missing the requisite Wasabi peas. Once again I tasted that dreaded bubble gum but the wine did present dark tannins. Then came the piece de resistance, a spicy but dry commercially prepared barbecued chicken breast. Now our Pinot Noir tasted of chocolate, dark cherries, and a tinge of tobacco. Zesty guacamole muted this wine. And fresh strawberries rendered it dark but weak.

Final verdict. I would not buy this wine again. It didn’t even come close, but to be fair, some of the pairings were good.

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but drinking fine Iwine with good company. He loves teaching computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines. His Italiian  travel website is http://www.travelitalytravel.com .

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