“I think they’re going to get their
money’s worth,” says ThomasMcGarry,
the wine manager at Super Buy-Rite
Wines & Liquors in Jersey City, NJ,
where he sells as many as 400 cases of
Mark West a year and stocks 60 to 70
SKUs of Pinot Noir that cost less than
$15 a bottle. “There has been incred-
ible growth in this category over the
last couple of years.”
Incredible, in fact, may be an
understatement. Pinot Noir, tradi-
tionally the province of enophiles
with deep pockets, has been a fine
wine more than a mass wine for
good reason: The grape has long
been considered difficult to grow
and just as difficult to make, even
when it was expensive.
And when it wasn’t expensive? It
rarely tasted like Pinot, even in the
way less expensive Cabernet Sauvi-
gnon or Chardonnay can still taste
like the variety and it usually had off
W
hen Constellation Brands, one of the biggest
wine suppliers in the world, paid $160 million
last year for MarkWest—the $10 Pinot Noir
brand—industry veterans weren‛t surprised.
Quietly, confidently, this noble varietal wine is
transitioning from cellar-dweller to crowd-pleaser
By Jeff Siegel
Pinot Noir’s spiritual homeland is Burgundy, but
New World vineyards, such as those of Bronco in
California (top) and Cono Sur in Chile (bottom)
are paving the way for palatable, affordable Pinot
Noirs that are scoring big with consumers.
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