A monthly review of an easily obtainable wine that’s had a recommendation somewhere in a National newspaper. Always posted just before the usual monthly theme, this may be the latest post for only a few days…

Palatalia Pinot Noir 2012 (Pfalz, Germany) – 13½%  –   M&S £9

German PN is usually either pale, thin and sharp (like many Alsace examples) or over extracted and oaky – and sometimes both… So I was relieved and impressed that this was neither…

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Pale, translucent brickish red – a typical Pinot Noir hue. Fragrant red fruit nose – summer pudding with a sweet raspberry confectionery tinge. Later a herbaceous note and a floral element.

Sweet fruit palate too, I’d say strawberry compote, but some acidity and warm, slightly cough mixture, tannins. The wine has a slightly spicy / mineral / stalky / bitter finish which helps add depth and suggest it would cope with food. Later the structure comes more into its own and the simple sweet fruit recedes – showing some complexity and aging ability.

Later still subtle hints of apricot brandy and mocha appear too.

With food (a Guinea Fowl roast dinner) the foreground fruit flavours are partly blocked out but the acidity and mineral structure holds up very well.

Not as complex as a £20 Burgundy, certainly, but with quite a lot of flavour, structure,  typicity and interest. There is little of the over-cooked or blowsy elements one finds in cheaper (though not as cheap as £9) New World offerings. This has enough breadth – based on a leaner food-friendly structure – to make it a pleasurable and intriguing wine which one wouldn’t blanche at paying £15 for – so it’s fabulous value.

The best under £10 Pinot in the UK?

Ratings:     Quality:  16/20               Value:  18/20

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