It is rare that you see mainstream critics write about so-called “industrial wines” and most unusual when they actually say good things about them. So I was surprised to see Wine Spectator critic Jim Laube blog about an $8 California Pinot Noir a couple weeks ago. Naturally I was curious to taste the wine myself and see how close my experience would be to Mr. Laube’s. The wine in question is from the Cecchetti Wine Company marketed under the RedTree brand. I picked it up on the end-cap at my local wine store for $5.50 on sale.
I am somewhat familiar with RedTree from their Zinfandel I tasted recently. You don’t often see Zin in the less than $10 range so when I see a new entrant I try it to see if they will be giving Ravenswood a run for their money in this price category. Sorry to report that the RedTree Zin didn’t live up to expectations with over ripe blackberry fruit overwhelmed by alcohol (listed at 14.5% ABV but likely over 15%). So how could their Pinot be anything other than a light generic red wine?
I’m not sure how they did it but the 2008 RedTree Pinot Noir is an unbelievable value at the less than $6 I paid for it on sale. Even at $12 this wine would give Mark West Pinot some serious competition. Darker than most Pinot, the wine smells like you would expect with strawberry and red cherry fruit with just a hint of the earthiness associated with Pinot. Red cherry and strawberry fruit flavors complete the package finishing with supple tannins. Surprisingly correct varietal character for a Central Valley wine.
Screw Cap closure
My buying advice is to pick up a bottle yourself and then get a case or two if you concur (my retailer had a mail-in rebate for case purchases). I don’t expect to see the same value in the next release but will definitely give it a try next year. In the meantime I’ll be buying some Petite Sirah to see if the Zin was a fluke or trend with heavier bodied reds. They also make a Cabernet, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio.
Thanks for the tip, Jim; keep ’em coming.
Robert Dwyer says
It sounds like your notes align pretty closely with mine. $5.50 is an amazing price- good thing they made tons of this wine. It's readily available in stores now and going fast.
Red Tree’s Pinot Noir 2008. I got it here in Bangkok, Thailand, for Bt300 (US9.89). Light burgundy red, fruity but the flavour won’t lingers long in your mouth. It’s fine. Next time I will try its Cabernet Sauvignon.
I really enjoyed reading your post on the RedTree Pinot, as a recent grad I am always on the lookout for inexpensive but delicious wines and I hope the LCBO in Ontario deciedes to bring this wine to Canada. I really enjoyed reading your older posts as well keep up the good work
@ Bryan: I would think the wine buyers at the LCBO would pick this one out, particularly in these economic times. Let me know what you think when you get some.
see you would think so but the brilliant minds at the LCBO tend to follow big sweeping trends and they tend not to rock to boat to much when it comes to wine. They pretty much only bring in new products during their vintages releases
Had a couple of glasses of this wine on Sunday and really liked it. Trying to find it in my area as I would like to purchase some. Not having any luck as of today (7/31/09).
Wine Gift Online says
This was on sale for $4.97 at a well-known Minneapolis wine shop. That is a fair price for it sine there are better pinot noir's out there for $8 or $9. Red Tree Pinot Noir is non-offensive, light bodied, and short on flavor. It is, however, easy to drink and fuity. Strawberies and Michigan cherries come to mind. Not much depth of flavor or layers and finishes light and clean. I'll give 3 stars!
Randomly picked this up tonight, what a surprise! It was delicious and definitely an amazing value.
Great value and both my wife and I enjoy drinking this. Pleasant surprise.
I have had a bunch of Red Tree Pinot and love it…the price makes it that much better…$5.99 at Costco. The bad news is that about two months ago Costco stopped selling it…not sure why maybe we drank it all!
Costco seems to run through a lot of different wines over time but I continue to see Red Tree in independent wine stores around town here.
Thanks for you comment, Rick.
where can you buy?
I see this wine going for 9.99-13.99 in New Jersey, you found it below cost somehow (it must be related to transportation). Anyway this is HANDS DOWN, I repeat, HANDS DOWN, the BEST pinot noir from California you will find 14.99 and under. If you think Mark West is the best, think again. I assure you, other wine consumers, this is the best bargain for a red wine I have found and I am 42 years old. The packaging is lovely, I really really like this wine and the brand.I hope it gets big so I can find it everywhere, I hate having such a hard time tracking down a bottle across the state of NJ. In case anyone is wondering, I am from the Morristown area in NJ and picked up my bottle at Select Vintage Wines in Basking Ridge (right off exit 33 on rt 78). So far I can't find it anywhere else!!! Come on other stores, buy Redtree so I don't have to drive so far!
Another Nick from NJ says
Haha, funny, my name’s also Nick, and I just tried the first bottle of it (2009) 3 weeks ago. I don’t know a lot about wine, but the girl I started dating does, and it was the first time either of us have tried it. Both of us have absolutely loved it, and I went right back to Canal’s the very next day to buy the last bottle they had. I’ve been back there every few days since then, and make sure I check every time to make sure they haven’t gotten a new shipment. I finally talked to one of the workers there, and they’re ordering a couple of cases of it. Can’t wait to have it again. I’ve been looking everywhere, and haven’t found it yet. Btw, we’re both 33.
Tim Elliott says
I will have to see if my local wine store has any 2009 or 2010 and try this wine again. From the comments below, the 2009 has been either called great or undrinkable which makes me think it is quite different from the 2008 tasted here.
cannot find the 2008 red tree pinot cleveland area… they have only the 2009 and it really sucks…. 2008 thebest….. help me find it
Wine Not! says
I am unfortunately drinking it right now (2009) and am ready to throw it down the sink! This stuff does suck….maybe the earlier one was ok but you can take it. If you want a nice pinot noir try La Crema. You can’t go wrong a little more money but well worth the price.
Tim Elliott says
Have not tried the 2009 vintage yet but this sort of thing often happens with industrial wines. First vintage nice; after that, not so good. Thanks for the report.
I love their Pinot and Petite Syrah. What an excellent wine at this price.
We had a wine tasting party with friends and Red Tree Pinot Noir won hands down! We also detected a little chocolate with the cherry! LOVE it!
Tim Elliott says
I’ll have to pick up another bottle and check this wine out again… the last time I did, a couple years back, I was not impressed.