OK, we'll admit it. Tim bought this wine because of the bicycle on the label. Still nursing the clavicle injury from his last ride, he's missing bicycles, so the romance of the two-wheeled ride has to come from a wine label.
A secondary reason was that on our visit to the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southwestern France in 2000, we discovered that this relatively unknown wine region produced some great wines. You just had to be a bit picky. (The Fat Bastard white we reviewed earlier this summer also came from this land north of the Pyrenees and west of the Mediterranean.)
The third reason is that we've reviewed very few bargain reds this summer.
We found the Red Bicyclette Pinot Noir for about $8, and even though any Pinot Noir under $20 these days is suspect, we were very, very pleasantly surprised.
Although the red wine is light in color, it has dark red tastes of plum and cherry. There's a subtle hint of cinnamon in there too, because the winemaker ages a very small amount of the juice in French oak for a couple of months.
This is not an Oregon-quality Pinot Noir, but it doesn't carry the price tag, either. It's a bargain. And any Pinot Noir that drinks well and has a bargain price these days is a real bargain.