The Red Cloak Arroyo Seco Pinot Noir 2021 is an $11.99 Aldi exclusive made for them by a winery located in Greenfield, California (Monterey County). Arroyo Seco translates to dry creek, (there is also a Dry Creek AVA in Sonoma). It is part of the Salinas River Valley which runs north/south along the Pacific Coast. The AVA has direct access to full Pacific Ocean influence.
Off the coast in Monterey Bay is a hole in the Ocean called the Blue Grand Canyon which is one of the coldest spots in the entire Pacific, those cool/cold breezes flow right down the valley. The soil in Arroyo Seco is as close to the soil in Burgundy as any in California.
All of which makes the region an excellent location for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards. The Red Cloak Arroyo Seco Pinot Noir 2021 is made by some entity of Scheid Family Vineyards which is headquartered in Greenfield California. They are behind many Aldi and Trader Joe’s wines from the Central Coast and they own many sustainably farmed vineyards.
Aldi wines rarely have any production tasting or technical notes, the back label mentions toasty vanilla oak, so there is some sort of oak aging. At $12 you would expect an oak barrel program and a wine from a special up-scale AVA should have proper oak influence. I expect the Red Cloak Arroyo Seco Pinot Noir 2021 to have first-class production techniques.
In the past Aldi still wines rarely broke the $9.99 barrier, this year I have noticed wines at $12, $13, and $15 prices. I am not sure if that is inflation or if Aldi is changing their wine selection to be slightly higher-end. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The Red Cloak Arroyo Seco Pinot Noir 2021 Tasting Notes
The color is extremely see-thru cranberry red. The nose is earthy rather than fruit-forward, there is some cherry, tea, and spice, along with a subtle bouquet of flowers. The Red Cloak Arroyo Seco Pinot Noir 2021 is not the typical bright fruit Pinot Noir seen in this price range. This is an intense and sharply focused Pinot Noir.
This Pinot tastes like tart Cherry, fresh-brewed coffee, black pepper, spice from India, and ripe plum. The mid-palate shows orange peel, cranberry, herbs, and raspberry. The tannins are sweet and the acidity allows the flavors to unfold.
- The Red Cloak Arroyo Seco Pinot Noir 2021 is not your typical store-brand wine this is a Pinot Noir that is unique and shows terrior.
- This will pair well with a Holiday meal but may be too unusual for novice Pinot Noir drinkers.
- This is a Pinot Noir that you may not warm up to immediately but is well worth taking the next sip and finding out what it has to offer.