Wine of the Week: Co-op Chilean Irresistible 30 degree Pinot Noir 2021 - WineUncorked: Wine Reviews and Tips

This latest vintage of the Co-op Chilean 30 degree Pinot Noir has just arrived in the shops and will be replacing the previous 2020 version. And it’s another great wine, scoring the highest 5-star rating which follows on from the 5-star 2020 and 4-star 2019. It has gone up a £1 in price, now £8 a bottle, but this Casablanca Valley Pinot Noir is still worth the money and great value.

Flavours are lighter and sharper this time, being predominately cherry and mocha coffee rather than the intense raspberry, chocolate and liquorice of earlier years. But this matches the cooler weather conditions in Chile during 2021 with the Chilean grape harvest report telling of a fresher year with slow maturation leading to wines of higher acidity.

This is a great change to the hot weather and drought years of 2020 and 2019 when grapes were being picked early to avoid them getting over-ripe after the lack of water caused them to mature early. Very ripe grapes had high levels of sugar and intensely fruity flavours – which came through in the wines. The 2021 harvest followed cooler weather and this too is coming through in the flavour.

You may be wondering why in 2022 we are drinking last year’s wine.

Chile’s grape harvest takes place during March and April. Although this is spring time in Europe and fruits of all sorts are just getting going, down in the Southern Hemisphere this is autumn and grapes are ready for picking. After the grapes have been pressed to extract the tasty juice, fermentation with yeast follows and we get wine. This part of the process takes a couple of months with the remaining time allowing the just-finished wine to mature and settle before bottling.

Wines can be ready earlier, and it is not uncommon to see some wines ready just 6 months after their country’s harvest date. These wines tend to be cheaper in price (storage costs money) but Chilean wines tend to leave things longer and sell their wines at a slightly higher price and aim for the above average price (greater than £6) part of the market.

No oak staves

Another taste difference in the latest 2021 wine can be put down to lack of oaky flavour. We can see this by looking at the ingredients list on the bottle’s back label.

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Wine labels generally don’t show an ingredients list but the Co-op has a long-standing policy of showing what’s in their own-label wines (and are the only UK supermarket to do so) and their back labels are a mine of geeky information for the wine enthusiast.

Not only can we see that the wine contains grapes, added tartaric acid, preservative and stabiliser (nothing unusual here) but it also lists oak staves on the 2020 and 2019 bottles but not on the latest 2021.

Oak staves are used as a cheaper alternative to storing the wine in an oak barrel. Both methods allow the wine to mature and extract oaky, vanilla, flavours from the wood as it does so.

The 2021 doesn’t list oak staves and we can assume that this Chilean Pinot Noir was made without – the flavour of the wine is as it comes (well apart from the added tartaric acid) and so tastes lighter as a result.

Enjoy this wine from the Co-op now.

 

Co-op Irresistible 30 degree Pinot Noir 2021

£8 Co-op

five stars

Flavours in 2021 are lighter and sharper this time, being predominately cherry and mocha coffee rather than the intense raspberry, chocolate and liquorice of earlier years (2020 and 2019). But this matches the cooler weather conditions in Chile during 2021 with the Chilean grape harvest report telling of a fresher year with slow maturation leading to wines of higher acidity. Blackberry fruitiness adds to the fresh flavour but there’s also some hints of toffee and dark chocolate. A nice wine that knocks spots of many French Pinot Noirs from the Burgundy region.

 

 

 

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About WineUncorked and its editor, Paula Goddard Read more