The 2010 Araucano Pinot Noir is 100% Pinot sourced from several cool weather vineyards in the Curico, Maipo, Maule, but mainly from the Lolol growing regions in the Central Valley of Chile. The Pinot Noir vines in this area are relatively young, the average age of the vines is 7 years old (it takes 3 to 4 years for a vine to mature to the point it can start producing wine worthy grapes). The wine is aged in French oak barrels for 10 months and the alcohol content is a relatively high for a Pinot, 14.7%.
The color is a pale rusty red. The nose is dried leaves, smoke from the BBQ grill and dusty cherry. Medium bodied, smooth mellow cherry upfront, along with licorice, smoke and herbal tea. There is a nice mix of fruit and more astringent flavors. Not the most layered or complex Pinot Noir, but not simple either, what is there is tasty and interesting. The tannins and the oak are well integrated and the acidity allows the finish to linger for a fairly long time.
It wasn’t all that long ago that there was two Pinot Noir’s, the complicated and intriguing, expensive stuff and the light bodied, but pleasingly fruit forward cheap stuff, wines like the Araucano Pinot Noir are starting to blur those lines. The Araucano has some of the tasty fruit and a bit of the complicated and interesting, all in a wine that should be found for a buck or two over $10.