Wine review: Luc Pirlet Pinot Noir Barriques Reserve 2010

Luc Pirlet pinot noirMy winning streak with cheap pinot noir from the Languedoc region of France continues. First, there was the Tortoise Creek, and now there is the Luc Pirlet ($10, purchased, available at Central Market). Who’d have thought this was possible, given the region’s problems with pinot noir?

Frankly, this was much, much better than I expected (being the curmudgeon I am). It has moderate black fruit, plus some pepper and earthiness. What’s missing is what I expected to find — that New World kind of fruitiness that makes cheap pinot taste like it could have been made anywhere in the world. But this is 100 percent pinot noir, so the flabby fruit that comes from adding syrah or grenache is missing.

It’s not quite as well done as the Tortoise Creek, but it’s still a stunningly well-made $10 bottle of pinot noir — let alone from a region where pinot has such a sorry history. This is a candidate for the $10 Hall of Fame, and yes, Mom, would appreciate it over the weekend. Drink this on its own, or with burgers, barbecue or meatloaf. Who knew pinot would turn into a midweek dinner kind of wine?

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