Wine of the Week: Fat Bastard Pinot Noir

Wine: Fat Bastard Pinot Noir

Grape: Pinot noir

Region: Vin de Pays d’Oc and Corsica, France

Vintage: 2010

Price: $8.99

Availability: Widely available in retail stores

In the glass: Fat Bastard Pinot is a nicely dark crimson red with a semi-opaque core going out into a light violet-red rim definition with light to medium viscosity.

On the nose: It has classic red berries written all over it with red cherries, freshly baked raspberry Danish and English currant preserve, then a fresh blast of cool minerals and crushed fig leaf, with underlying hints of strawberry juice and red flowers coming out of the glass.

On the palate: It is a lovely rounded mouthful of wine with red berries dominating the taste buds, but there’s a spice component that immediately gives us a hint that it is from a warmer climate than Burgundy, France, where pinot noir is indigenous. Crushed red cherries, strawberries, bramble fruit and red currants are present with touches of cranberry juice going through the fresh red fruit midpalate — entirely free of wood notes as it is made in stainless steel tanks — into a very nicely balanced finish redolent with soft tannins that are entirely supple and unobtrusive.

Odds and ends: Right off the bat, this wine was interesting to taste, given the blend of pinot noir grapes from both the South of France and the island of Corsica, in the Mediterranean off the coast of Italy.

When the British drink a good heady wine that is particularly rich and powerful, they often exclaim: “I’ve got me a Fat Bastard,” hence the name for this superb brand of wine. The Fat Bastard Wine Co. is the brainchild of a couple of smart Frenchmen called Thierry and Guy, who in cooperation with Peter Click of Click Imports in Seattle, created this fun and unpretentious brand. They put nice quality wine in bottles and make it available in the market with great success. Why? Well, the bottles go for less than $9 and considering the drinkability factor, as well as the flavor profile of this wine and all of its siblings, it is not hard to understand. The style of the entire lineup of Fat Bastard wines is easygoing and enjoyable. Try this one with a classic veal Milanese on a bed of arugula. Drink it now through 2015.

Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at