The Broken Clouds Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2016 is a $12.99 ALDI exclusive. $12.99 is near the top of the price range for ALDI wine and the reason is that these grapes come from one of the best Pinot Noir growing areas in California. The Sonoma Coast is mostly smaller family owned vineyards and attached wineries producing extremely well-regarded Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. ALDI does not offer any information about the production of this Pinot Noir, but I doubt if one of these top-notch wineries made this wine, but the grapes came from some of their vineyards. In a related note, the Broken Clouds Pinot Noir had been named to Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Best Buy list in 2016 (the 2013 vintage was rated 22 out of 100 with 20,000 wines tasted). So, this is a private store brand wine that has a fairly impressive pedigree. Usually private label store brands are unknown quantities, but with the Broken Clouds I think it is reasonable to expect a quality Pinot Noir. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is a see-thru garnet red with swirling black highlights. The nose is not shy the aromas hit you from a foot away, there are cherries, toasty oak spice, a hint of smoke, herbs, faint caramel, black pepper, exotic spice, and plum. This is a medium-bodied Pinot with a complicated flavor profile, a mainly silky in texture with a slightly rough edge. It tastes of black cherry, herbs, pepper, ripe raspberry, and a touch of spice. The mid-palate brings cranberry, mushroom, and sweet strawberry. The tannins stay out-of-the-way and the acidity is very well-balanced by the body of the wine. The finish is full and persistent.
The Broken Clouds Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2016 is legit, its way good for $12.99. Is it the best Pinot Noir I have ever had? No, but it is a solid California, Sonoma Pinot Noir at a price much lower than where you usually find solid Sonoma Pinots. Good fruit, nice texture, solid acidity, have it with the meal or sip it on the patio, it’s a very good effort. Who would have thought that ALDI is the go-to budget Pinot Noir destination.