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Senior editor Dana Nigro joined Wine Spectator in 1998. She is managing editor of WineSpectator.com.
Dana Nigro

A Pinot Noir for Cajun Fare

Viña Cono Sur Pinot Noir Colchagua Valley 2008

Dana Nigro
Posted: August 13, 2009

My husband and I recently spent a week in New Orleans visiting his family and eating our way through the city's iconic foods: shrimp po’boys, seafood gumbo, fried catfish, red beans and rice, muffalettas, fried gator, beignets, snowballs, doberge cake and more. Amid all this, I felt the overwhelming need for a salad, and so we stopped at the Whole Foods Market in the old bus barn to pick up fresh greens for dinner at home.

Being from the New York/New Jersey area, grocery stores that sell wine are something of a novelty to me, so I was curious to see what they had in the way of ecofriendly "supermarket wines.” We picked up the Cono Sur Pinot Noir Colchagua Valley 2008, a Chilean wine appealing for its $12 price tag, sustainably farmed grapes and CarbonNeutral® delivery to offset the emissions of shipping. Plus, my cycling-fanatic husband liked the bicycle on the label.

We had the wine with boudin one night and then, to use up the leftover sausage, with boudin empanadas, a Cajun-Latin fusion creation of my in-laws. Crisp and light, the Pinot Noir offered pleasant red cherry, sour cherry and plum aromas and flavors, with just a touch of toast and spice on the finish. I put it at 84 points, non-blind. The acidity helped cut the fat of the boudin, though I felt the wine could have used a bit more heft to stand up to the food. No one else at the table was nitpicking about the pairing though; everyone went back for a second glass.

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Viña Cono Sur Pinot Noir Colchagua Valley 2008 (83, $13).

• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Chilean Pinot Noirs, along with our quick lists of Top Values and Easy Finds among Chilean reds.

To learn more about Cono Sur and cool-climate Pinot Noir in Chile, read James Molesworth's blog interviews with Adolfo Hurtado from 2009 and 2008.

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