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David Lawrason’s Weekly Wine Pick: a kitschily branded pinot that’s actually good

The People’s 2010 Pinot NoirWeekly Wine Pick

$16.95 | Central Otago, New Zealand | 89 points
I’m often skeptical of the quality of kitschy “populist” wines, but this is a solid, newly arrived pinot noir from the most talked-about region of New Zealand, where the average price for pinot noir is about twice as high. (The companion white People’s pinot gris, however, is not recommended.)

The taste: This sports typical Otago cranberry-cherry fruit flecked with mint and orange peel. Some oak smoke and cinnamon spice is nicely tucked down at the corners. It’s medium-bodied, vibrant and tart, with some gritty tannin and juicy, bitter cranberry on the finish. Very good length.

How to drink it: Like most pinot noirs, it should be served slightly chilled in a wide-bowled, narrow-rimmed glass that will show off its aromatic fireworks. Serve with poultry or spiced ham.

LCBO 234526