The best thing about this wine is it’s name and it’s label, with the iconic symbol of the three monkeys (see/hear/speak no evil). For the bargain price of $7.99, you could do worse, but you can certainly do much better. There is no vintage on the label, indicating that it’s a blend of 2 or more years, and possibly even a blend of more than just pinot noir.
According to the label, this wine is ‘Vin de Pays de L’Ile de Beaute, Product of France.’ That actually refers to the Island of Corsica, about 100 miles off the Southern coast of France, and about 50 miles West of Italy. The term “Vin de Pays” is a French term that means “Country Wine” and is applied to wines that come from a general area of an appellation or (in this case) a country. It does not mean that the wine is bad or cheap, but it does mean that it’s going to be of lesser quality than one attributable to a specific winemaker or vineyard. In Corsica, a number of winemakers/growers belong to cooperatives, so that is probably the likely source of this wine.
The fact that there is no vintage means that the wine is a blend of wines from several different vintages. That’s also not necessarily a bad thing, unless there are too many years involved (the older wines may be of lesser quality than the newer due to their age).
According to bottle notes, “Pinot Evil dances with a lovely ripe cherry nose that cascades into a smooth, velvet finish.” A note from the TotalWine site says “Soft, richly jammy and crisp flavors of raspberry, cherry, beet and coffee flavors. A light, silky creamy mouthfeel texture, lush on the palate and an easy-drinking wine.”
I found aromas of faint cherry, spice, and alcohol – which was unusual, as the wine is only 12.5%. I also detected hints of dried fruits and cherry cola after a strong swirl. The nose was not complex, but also not unpleasant. On the palate, my initial impression was sour cherries, and a “dusty” feel in the back of the throat. It felt over-extracted, as if the wine sat too long on the stems and skins, and throughout the drink, there was a lingering feeling of dirt in the back of my throat. I was pressed to identify the exact flavor, but on reading the TotalWine notes, I think “beets” is a pretty good description – the outer layer of a roasted beet, to be specific.
The finish is medium, there for a bit and then gone. There’s light berries, some vegetal notes, and that dirty beet-y flavor at the back of the throat.
This is not a bad wine, especially for eight bucks. I tried it chilled a bit; the cold tightens up the flavors and makes it more palatable. But overall, I’d leave this for a very casual get together, perhaps served with barbequed beef or ribs, to help cut the earthy flavors. The meat and juices would likely overwhelm the wine making it an accent to the meal, rather than an intruder.