The Seadrift Pinot Noir 2014 is a $7.99 ALDI exclusive sourced from more than one grape growing AVA in California. ALDI never gives out much information about their wines, a quick check of the internet showed that the Seadrift is produced by a custom winery located in the Central Coast AVA, but anything more than that is hard to come by. Custom wine labels (wines produced specifically for a store such as ALDI or Trader Joe’s) have a price advantage over regular distributed wine. Custom label wines do not have an advertising/PR budget and have reduced distribution costs, since the distributor does not have to pay a fleet of salespeople to hit the street and try to get the wine on store shelves. Advertising and distribution costs will add several dollars to the price of a bottle of wine. So, a regular label wine similar to a $7.99 custom label bottle from ALDI, may sell for $10 or $12 at a supermarket or wine shop. The difference is ALDI will only have one or two wines in each category and a regular wine shop will have a far larger selection. If you like ALDI’s wine, then you get an enjoyable bottle at a great price. If you not a fan of their wine, then you have to pay a few bucks more to find a wine that suits you. This Pinot Noir has a very Burgundian alcohol content of 12.5%.
The color is a clear, see-thru garnet red. The nose is classic California Pinot Noir, cherry, mushroom, herbs, crumpled fall leaves, a hint of smoke, a pretty good nose for an $8 Pinot. This is a medium to light bodied Pinot, with balanced acidity and decent structure. It tastes of black cherry, plum, a splash of herbs and a little oak spice. The mid-palate brings strawberry and tart cherry. The tannins are smooth, the acidity is in balance with the body of the wine. The finish is subtle and lingers for some time.
The Seadrift Pinot Noir 2014 isn’t a bad little Pinot Noir, light delicate, with proper Pinot Noir flavors. Many value priced Pinot’s on the shelves today are mixed with Petite Sirah and even Zinfandel, and while those additions do add flavor and body, the results are not classic Pinot Noir. I don’t know what is or isn’t added to the Seadrift Pinot, but whatever is in there, it tastes like Pinot Noir. The Seadrift is a solid $7.99 California Pinot, it is light-bodied but it will work as a food wine, turkey or ham for the holidays comes to mind. Plus it drinks fine, it won’t make you forget the Pinot Noir from Oregon or Russian River, but those don’t sell for under eight dollars, either.