If it’s French in must be fancy. Ok, not necessarily. But isn’t it great to find a French wine that tastes fancy without being priced fancy? Enter Louis Jadot 2012 Pinot Noir, a regional Burgandy Pinot Noir: affordable with a friendly, open flavor…and a little something extra…

Louis Jadot 2012 Pinot Noir

About the Wine: Let’s unravel the French-ified label, shall we? This is a Bourgogne Pinot Noir — aka: it’s from Burgandy. The grapes are harvested from numerous vineyards within Burgandy including Côte d’Or, Saône et Loire (Mercurey, Buxy) and Irancy. When a wine is made from grapes gathered from various vineyards in the Burgandy region (as opposed to a specific village, specific vineyard, or one of the Grande Crux), it’s considered a “regional wine,” thus its commercial (and commercially affordable) appeal.

But this is still a baby born in Burgandy, a region known for its limestone-happy soil. And it’s that minerality that acts to keep this wine calm, subduing the fruit, and making this wine versatile through its lack of complexity.

The wine is made with 100% Pinot Noir Grapes. 12.5% ABV

Flavor Profile: A little lighter than a lot of red wines, the Louis Jadot 2012 Pinot Noir has a see-through, purple-pink hue — quite beautiful in the glass. Initial aromas are typical to light-bodied pinots: strawberries, red cherries, and light floral notes lingering in the background. The taste of this medium-bodied wine is where it really shines. Those fruit and floral notes that initially take center stage for the nose, become the background on the palate. There’s a distinct minerality that steals the show for the tastebuds, giving you the sense you are truly tasting the terrior of Burgandy. The tannins, I’d say, are medium (perhaps medium to low), and don’t come out to play until the finale of the tasting. But it’s not grande finale, as the tannins are quite quiet themselves, speaking just enough to tell you that the tasting is complete.

The winemakers notes describe this wine as “silky,” and I have to whole-heartedly agree. When I think of silk I think of how cool it is to the touch, how smooth the texture, and how its beauty is found in its purity and simplicity. That is how it is with this wine: simple flavors, balanced correctly, providing beauty in sight, smell and taste.

Food Pairing: Because the Louis Jadot 2012 Pinot Noir opens with that refreshing mouthfeel and maintains light, bright fruits solely in the background of the palate, I would actually suggest serving this wine a bit cooler than most reds. (Reds can be served anywhere from 50F to 65F. Err on the side of 50F here.) Again, because of the wine’s unique non-complexity, it is quite versatile. Play up the cooler temp and mineral notes and serve it as an aperitif. Serve it with a hearty lamb rack or crispy skin duck breast and let the calming effect of the wine cut through the fats and proteins. A light chocolate mousse with a raspberry coulis would give the fruit notes of the wine an extra boost. Or pour this wine late at night over lively conversation and laughter, simply enjoying the wine for what it is.

More Info: Learn more about Louis Jadot, Burgandy, available wines, and local retailers from their site. I purchased this wine at Safeway (Sale Price: $14.99).

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