The William Wright Monterey Pinot Noir 2018 is a $9.99 Aldi exclusive. It is exclusive to Aldi in the United States but a quick check of the internet saw this wine selling for $34 (Canadian) and for the equivalent of $25 in Denmark. I am not sure as to what to make of the price differences.Aldi typically holds the trademark on the wine labels they sell, but the William Wright Monterey Pinot Noir 2018 is one of Scheid Family Vineyards' family of wines. They offer photos of the bottle and label, along with technical notes. I have found their wines for sale under Trader Joe's and Aldi labels and have come to trust store brand wines from Monterey County AVA. Along with a few other Monterey producers, Scheid has found the key to making excellent wine at an attractive price.Monterey County AVA is an interesting location to farm grapevines. The Pacific Ocean near the Monterey shoreline is particularly deep and cold and the winds coming ashore have a start impact on the climate. The coastal mountains both shield the interior from the winds and funnel the cold air to other locals. Giving Monterey a wide variety of micro-climates that are suitable to the various grape varietals.The William Wright Monterey Pinot Noir 2018 uses open-top fermentation, which takes place in small vats. Winemakers strive to control contact with the air and bacteria with their wines, so open-top fermentation has its risks. It is a highly skilled way of producing Pinot Noir, and great care needs to be maintained to achieve the desired results.This fermentation type is labor-intensive and not the usual method used in producing ten-buck Pinot Noir; maybe Canada and Denmark know something we don't know. After the Pinot Noir exits the fermentation process, it is aged “on” French oak for 12 months. I never know what exactly aged “on” French oak means. Does it mean the wine was transferred to wine barrels, or does it mean something else?With the William Wright Monterey Pinot Noir 2018, we have a $9.99 Pinot Noir from an excellent growing region that a skilled high-end winery produced. So far, so good, so onto the tasting portion. The alcohol content is 13.%.William Wright Monterey Pinot Noir 2018 Tasting NotesThe color is a pale, see-thru garnet red. In the age where popular brands on Pinot Noir are mixed with Petite Sirah and Syrah, it is excellent to see a Pinot Noir with “real-deal” Pinot Noir coloring. The nose is ripe cherry, along with those earthy, funky Pinot Noir scents that are only found with Pinot Noir wines. There are herbs, exotic spices, pepper, vanilla, grilled meat, a whiff of smoke, tea, and black cherry.The William Wright Monterey Pinot Noir 2018 is light to medium-bodied, sleek, with a firm texture. It tastes of slightly sour, ripe cherry, followed by stringent tea, faint dark chocolate, spice, and plum. The mid-palate adds a jolt of orange zest, rounded black cherry, dusty chocolate powder, faint sharp black pepper, and cranberry.Good Pinot Noir is not easy; it challenges you to find its charms. Too fruit-forward is not good; too obtuse is just as bad. The William Wright Monterey Pinot Noir 2018 makes you focus on what is happening with your palate, and that alone is worth $9.99.The SummaryThe William Wright Monterey Pinot Noir 2018 is a legit, old-school, California Pinot Noir that happens to sell in a budget-priced grocery store chain for $9.99. I guess Canada and Denmark did know what they were doing.There is a trend for full-bodied, untraditional Pinot Noir wines. They are hugely popular, and while they do taste good and are exceptionally easy to drink. That is not what I want from a Pinot Noir.I want may Pinot to slightly difficult and unique, and the William Wright Monterey Pinot Noir 2018 fits the bill.
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