Maker: Rene Clement, Orange, France
Variety: Pinot Noir
Packaging: 1-liter Tetra Pak
Our Rating: 8 out of 10
We were pleased to find a new entrant, French Rabbit Pinot Noir 2005, into the non-bottle wine arena in our local Target Super Store. Target seems to have an eclectic, if not overly large, selection of wine. They have their own Wine Cube boxed wines, a smallish selection of bottles, and one of the larger selections of little packs of single-serving bottles. The 1-liter Tetra Pack used by French Rabbit is the typical miracle of thin-wall packaging. It takes up much less space than a 750-ml bottle, but holds a third more. I should point out that this type of box packaging is like a bottle in that once opened, the wine is in contact with the air contained in the container’s void space. So, if you plan to consume the wine over a period of days, you might consider pouring the remainder into a smaller container or using some other type of preservation technique.
The packaging is cute, though this Pinot Noir wasn’t overly impressive. We found nice licorice and berry notes in the aroma, but the cherry and oak notes in the flavor had to contend with a rather acidic finish. Letting this wine breathe didn’t seem to have much effect on its flavors.
We are encouraged by French Rabbit’s novel approach to the American market. In addition to their eco-friendly Tetra Pak, the are also claiming to plant a tree for every four liters sold. It also looks like they are introducing Tetra Prisma packaging, a softer side pack that will let one squeeze out excess air from a partially consumed package.