South Continent Pinot Noir: The Instant Glow

2006 Azul Profundo Pinot Noir Bio Bio Valley
Red Wine; Pinot Noir; Chile;
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Every once in a while something special drops in your lap. You can search through price books, go to tastings, visit wine countries, and find nothing. Yet some guy walks in and pours a glass, and you’re looking at him thinking “Where did you come from?” From the Bio Bio Valley in Chile (further south and cooler than the famous regions of Maipo and Casablanca) comes one of the most exciting sub $20 Pinot Noirs I’ve tasted in a long time. Where I’m normally looking for price points that are acceptable under $20 with this grape variety, this wine is impressive-delicious and more suited to the company of $30 dollar wines. You can imagine that winemakers, both Californian and Burgundian, would be happy buying this wine bottled but unlabeled. They could slap their label on it, give it a healthy markup and walk away with a profit, having done very little work. Of course, this won’t be $19.98 forever. They make 600 cases total and with the rising costs of everything, soon this pricing won’t make sense. Please take advantage if you’re into high quality/high value Pinot Noir. We have an allocation for this email, but after that, no guarantee.This wine came to us via the winemaker who is also an importer and wholesaler. He and his wife run the businesses together (she’s a winemaker too), and they had just picked up a label I had been buying direct. He asked if he could come by and pour the new vintage, and the Azul Profundo tagged along. I help a woman find wines for her club, and she was tasting with us. With one look we agreed we were both buying this wine. Beautiful pure fruit, deft oak use (you have to be looking to notice any at all), and a style that speaks to many palates. After watching my wife and mother-in-law fawn over it on Thursday, I started writing. When a wine lights up my wife’s face like that, I go back for more. I’m a Beverage Industry Professional (BIP) so I can get an “It’s good, I like it,” out of her most of the time, but to get that instant glow is difficult and therefore my constant challenge. This is instant glow wine.

I really enjoy this grape when it is done well, and most of the time it is not, so I end up being very picky. I think I’ve written about two non Burgundy Pinot producers total: Cima Collina and Anthill Farms (2006s coming soon!), and this made the cut to be number three. I love what this wine is doing under $20, and everybody who tries it seems to agree. Delicious, quality Pinot Noir with a retro price. There’s not a lot more to say than that.

SCD Dinner Report: Peter and I had two very successful dinners with SubCulture Dining last weekend. 9 courses, eight wines, and too many chocolates to count. There was an abundance of creative, delicious food, and the communal dining environment was a blast. If you were on the fence about attending, and you’re wondering whether you missed out: Yep. I wasn’t exactly sure what Peter and I were getting into, but now I’m looking forward to the next one. If you’re adventurous, you like to eat well, and you enjoy meeting foodies from all walks of life, we recommend checking it out. – Ben Jordan

2006 Azul Profundo Pinot Noir Bio Bio Valley
Red Wine; Pinot Noir; Chile;
  Add to Cart
Tasting Notes (For the Pinot Noir, not the 9 course meal)
You know me, if the wine does’t smell good, it’s not going home with me. I was skeptical (as I should be) about a Pinot Noir with a price this low, but when I put my nose on it that changed. And then there’s the palate. There’s a wonderful mouthfeel that you can only achieve with this variety. But to really describe this wine we have to talk about the fruit. The way it charms you, the way it carries richness, and the way it harmonizes the experience of the wine as whole. When I’m recommending wine, I feel the need to describe it in terms of its components and how extreme or subtle they are. I do this because everyone has different tastes, and I want them to understand where on their taste spectrum these pieces-parts sit. You really need to do that so you don’t send someone home with exactly the kind of wine they despise. I don’t feel the need to do that here. This speaks the language of all palates.

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