2008 Lethbridge "Ménage a Noir" Pinot Noir

Geelong, Bannockburn 13.5% Screwcap $25

Firstly, let it be known that I’m a fan of Geelong as a wine region and I’m a fan of Lethbridge. This wine is their entry level Pinot and it is by no means a bad wine. But the likes of De Bortoli’s Gulf Station, Curly Flat’s Williams Crossing label and Hoddles Creek (to name but three) have raised the bar in terms of expectations of a Pinot at around the $20 mark. For me, this wine didn’t quite compete with any of those in terms of quality and value.

It tastes regional and I think it sits comfortably within the style I’ve come to associate with Lethbridge Pinot. Excellent clarity of colour and an extremely “clean” wine, it smells of cherries, strawberries, forest floor, rhubarb, cola and spice. It’s only light to medium bodied and the finish, though lacking some drive and length, is tasty enough with some sappy notes adding interest. The spicy aspects and the rhubarb are perhaps what is most attractive to me personally.

BUT, I didn’t find the whole experience that convincing. Let’s just say it lacked the depth I like to see in a Pinot, even at this price point. Usually I don’t really like to talk too much about pricing and just concentrate on the wine. But that is, to an extent, a romantic and naive perspective. If I’d picked this up for under $20 I may have had more time for it. But at $25 it left me wanting something “more”.

This could also be tied in with my perception of Lethbridge. I tend to think they should concentrate on producing outstanding wines (which they do regularly). I’m not so sure doing a house style Pinot at this price point does them a lot of favours. Those are my concerns & criticisms anyway. Technically, you are still getting a nice taste of Geelong Pinot without an exorbitant price tag. If that is all you are after, this may well suit you more than it did me.

Winery Website- http://www.lethbridgewines.com.au/

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