Mr Frog Pinot Noir 2008 (Yarra Valley, Vic)
$14, Screwcap, 13.5%
The name is light and fluffy, the story clever, the packaging simple and fun. It’s all ticks from a marketing point of view, with much to grab on too, not least the particularly modest price (for a Yarra Pinot no less).
Bright red colour, moving to a very light, candied red fruit nose – strawberries, mint, and sap. It’s a Pinot Lite nose – with all the varietal characters of Pinot Noir, yet light on the stemmy funk so everyone can get their head around it. It actually smells really good, with plenty of the brightness of ripe Pinot fruit. No surprises either on the palate, which is all grapey juiciness followed by non existent tannins. In fact, besides a lick of acidity, there is next to nothing after the mid palate mark, with it all falling away in a forgiving sort of fashion.
Forgiving is a great way to describe this wine then, with its lightness, brightness and simplicity making for an appealing drink that’s hardly memorable, yet also so friendly and easygoing that you know everyone will like it (though it’s probably too light for hardcore pinophiles).
Personally, I see much to like here, not least the price. It’s the sort of wine that could make Pinot even more mainstream, even if it is really just a simple (and very light) wine. It’s the ‘first bike’ of Pinot land, yet made with enough seriousness to ensure that RS sweetness is not the dominant flavour. Good stuff. 16.0