The Cono Sur Reserva Especial Pinot Noir 2014 is 100% Pinot Noir sourced from 2 estate vineyards in the San Antonio Valley region of Chile. San Antonio Valley is the newest growing region in Chile, the vineyards are located on the coast near the Pacific Ocean. The ocean winds provide a cool climate, rainfall is sparse and the soil is marginal. It is said that grapevines must struggle to produce great wines and the cool temps, the lack of rain and the so-so soil all help to stress the vines. The Reserva Especial Pinot Noir is sourced from estate fruit and is aged in oak barrels for 11 months. Pinot with that pedigree from more well-known growing regions would typically command $25 and above, but the Cono Sur should be found for under $15. The alcohol content is 14.2%, in the past Burgundian style Pinot Noir would be in the 12.5% range, but today more fruit-forward wines tend to have higher alcohol content.
The color is a barely see-thru black cherry red. The nose is delicious, a mix of spices, cherry, smoke from the BBQ grill, sautéed mushrooms, fudge, raspberry jam, plastic bandages, and toasty vanilla. This is a medium-bodied, full flavored and complex Pinot. It tastes of blackberry, tea, exotic spice, bitter dark chocolate, and cherry. The mid-palate adds a cooling shot of blueberry, Altoids spice, and savory mushroom. The tannins are smooth and the acidity provides good length and allows the various flavors time to unfold. The finish is bold, fades before too long, but never really goes away.
The Cono Sur Reserva Especial Pinot Noir 2014 is a tasty, modern Pinot Noir. Plenty of balance and complexity, while delivering with loads of flavor. If you are of the opinion that Burgundian style Pinot Noir is the only style that is acceptable, then the Cono Sur may not be your cup of Pinot. But, if you’re a fan of modern fruit-forward wines, then the Cono Sur is talking your language. This is a well-balanced, well-made Pinot Noir that offers a lot of wine pleasure for the money.