You’ve got to love it when you live in a state (NH) dominated by a liquor store system that doesn’t know what to do with really good wines that DON’T HAVE big ratings or snob appeal. In this system, little gems like WillaKenzie Aliette Pinot Noir are eventually found heavily discounted on liquor store shelves. I’m sure wineries such as WillaKenzie would love to discover that some of their most allocated and nationally coveted wines are relegated to price-chopper status here in the Granite State! But why complain, right?
WillaKenzie Aliette Pinot Noir shows a deep and dense plum-purple in the glass. This was a surprise considering its bottle age and caused me to wonder about the maceration techniques used to extract such rich color. I definitely prefer a more lightly extracted style so to see such a dense and uniform color was disappointing. While some vanilla, forest-floor and even licorice are evident, Aliette predominantly shows black cherry and plum fruit flavors. In fact, I found Aliette black-fruited to a fault with little more to offer.
This Pinot’s forte is its texture. Aliette is medium to full in weight with a mouthfeel that is rich and round, soft and plush. While I would have preferred more acidity, the wine’s alcohol content was nicely balanced and never hot. I couldn’t help but want something more from Aliette’s palate, which lacked a certain depth of flavor (not a desirable trait for a wine originally priced at $33.99), but this is hardly a winemaking flaw.
The use of new oak, however, was VERY well done: especially considering that 100% new oak was employed! This strongly illustrates that oak quality and method of employ matter far more than the quantity of new oak used in winemaking. Obviously very good cooperage is being used by WillaKenzie Estate and in a way that does not grossly overpower the wine, skilled winemaking for sure!
In the end, I really enjoyed this wine and while not the most captivating PN I recently have had, WillaKenzie Aliette Pinot Noir is very well made and best suited to those favoring pinot with a silken mouthfeel. Recommended! I would recommend this wine more strongly if it retailed for under $25.00!