One of the hardest tasks in the wine world is to make good pinot noir. The only thing harder, perhaps, is to make good pinot noir at a reasonable price. That is why, when I come across a wine like this treat, the 42°S Pinot Noir from Tasmania at a mere bagatelle of $18, I fell like shouting the achievement from the rooftops.

In plain English the wine's name is Forty-Two Degrees South and herein lies its secret. This is the line of latitude upon which Tasmania sits, and it's a long way farther south, and therefore a lot cooler, than more established wine regions like McLaren Vale and Barossa. And to make good pinot you must have a cool climate.

Now this is not a great pinot in the style of Burgundy, but hey, what do you want at this price? Nor, thank God, is it like the creamy, over-oaked California versions. It is lighter even than Oregon pinot but does manage to capture the same rose-petal freshness of those excellent efforts.

Forty-Two has that perfect balance of ripe fruit and zingy acidity and even manages to capture hints of real pinot rusticality. Simply put, it's a pure, uncomplicated, and totally quaffable summer delight.

To find this wine near you, try www.wine-searcher.com.

When to Drink: Now

Breathing/Decanting: Half an hour helps

Food Pairing: Pork dishes, chicken, cold meats, pasta

Grapes: 100% pinot noir

Appellation: Tasmania

Region: Tasmania

Country: Australia

Price: $18

Availability: Limited

Web Site: www.frogmorecreek.com

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