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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
10 Dec 2004

Well I never thought I'd find myself recommending a Gallo wine in this slot (call me a snob….ok, ok) but I was served this wine recently here in London and was so impressed that I went and plucked a bottle off a shelf to check it for a second time and confirmed that this mature Pinot in E & J Gallo's Coastal range really pretty good.

The UK price is £9.99, far from a silly price for this amount of Pinot fruit from arguably California's most fashionable Pinot Noir appellation. The fruit comes mainly from Gallo's Two Rock vineyard just south of Russian River. It's extremely fruity (fruitier than most NZ Pinots at this price) but it is clean and attractively perfumed with Pinot scents. There is enough acidity, the merest suggestion of tannin and all in all it is a please-all package. Those looking for an easy-to-find bargain to serve with a bird and all the sweet trimmings could do very much worse. Each bottle sold in Thresher group stores in the UK comes in a fancy, sturdy tube so it could even make a present - safe from the breakage and pilferage that so often attends obviously bottle-shaped packages.

I will not witter(sp?) on - I have millions more (well, hundreds more) wines to recommend before the end of the year - but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this wine and hope you are too.

Incidentally, this is clearly not one of Gallo's biggest sellers. No mention of it at as far as I could see.

I got quite excited initially to see that this wine seemed to be on sale in the US for just $9.99 but am told that this cheaper bottling is part of Gallo's Sonoma County range (I look at appellations it's the branding that is important to corporations) and is not sourced from the Two Rock vineyard. Alas and alack, the wine I describe above is fairly widely available on export markets but not in the US. Heaven and the Gallos know why.

Grrr. Tricky, trying to be intercontinental, and especially transatlantic as my recent purple pages voyage round Turner Road showed...