Here Comes… Pinot Noir ’20
With autumn upon us, our annual homage to Pinot Noir is back!
This year’s pack ropes together some of the most revered producers of Pinot Noir from both home and abroad, covering a diversity of winemaking styles and taking a guided tour through the vineyards of Victoria, South Australia, New Zealand, France and even the high altitudes of Chile.. Whether you know little about Pinot Noir, or a lot, there is something here for everyone.
As a word of caution, though, the popularity of last year’s Pinot pack saw it sell out in record time. Coupled with the fact that some of these wines are in dangerously short supply, we fully expect this year’s pack will do the same. First in, best dressed – and we hope you enjoy this year’s selection.
The Drinks List Team
1. De Bortoli Villages Pinot Noir 2019
The idea of a Villages blend is to create attractive and appealing wine from different villages within the Yarra Valley. Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Pinot Noir are selected from best growers along with and Grenache chosen from Heathcote.
How Steve Webber and his team manage to punch out such great wines, accross the whole ranged with this value is always a surprise to us.
Another stellar effort and effortlessly is the key word here. Floral and bright with a serious tone to the fruit that is dialled in with a fresh Autumnal leaf that sits gently in the background. Softly sweet fruit, fresh and clean with a little x-factor that keeps you coming back for more.
2. Sewn by Seville Estate Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2019
Classic Yarra Pinot
It’s an amiable pinot. It scratches the Pinot Noir itch nicely, without threatening to become profound. Cherry-plum or red-berried flavour with a subtle sour spiciness. Nicely weighted, medium at most. Velvety tannin. Not a hair out of place. CAMPBELL MATTINSON, The Wine Front
3. Oakridge Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2019
From Legends, Oakridge
2020 Langtons Yarra Valley Wine Show
A traditional winemaking approach with whole berry/bunch fermentation in open vessels for three weeks followed by a 9 month maturation in French oak barrels.
Crimson Red in colour with a maroon hue. A sophisticated mix of fruit and spice aroma’s on the nose. With crushed strawberry, red cherry and pomegranate, element of spice and a touch of earth from the whole bunch inclusion add complexity. The palate displays a lush and layered density of fruit with dark cherry and red berry flavours with plush fruit tannins woven in adding complexity. There is a soft yet bright acid line providing drive and length to wine before the classic fantail finish of a great Yarra Pinot Noir.
4. 2A Pinot Noir 2019
5. Clyde Park Locale Pinot Noir 2019
Young Gun Winemaker
A different label to the one I remember, and better two, though I see now that it’s the third vintage that’s sporting the new livery.
Dark, spicy, brambly and meaty, but with good perfume of dried rose and vanilla. Plenty of dark and spicy flavour, a quiet brooding succulence, fine powdery tannin grip, goes a bit more into ripe strawberry as it finishes with solid length. Easy to like, I think. GARY WALSH, The Wine Front
6. Bass River Pinot Noir 2019
Up & Coming
Bass River is a pioneering winery and vineyard in South Gippsland. We craft wines that celebrate the region’s unique biodiversity.
The vignerons, the Butera Family, focus on producing small quantities of premium wines using fruit grown only from their estate vineyard. With an emphasis on expressing terroir and sustainable viticultural principles, we create handcrafted and distinctive wines that speak of the Gippsland region. Our land is bordered by the Bass River and the southern end of the Strzelecki Ranges. BASSS RIVER
Bright with a little hit of peppry spice and well handled oak that adds a sheen of exotic spice to the nose. It sits in that medium/light aspect with small red fruits to the fore and an earthy, spicy snap towards the end. Hand-picked, fermented with 80% whole berry/20% whole bunch with 20 days on skins, gravity fed to the underground cellar, matured for 11 months in French oak (20% new).
7. Moorooduc Estate Devil Bend Creek Pinot Noir 2019
We have always had great relationship with the Mcintyre family and Kate in particular who we have collaborated with on numerous projects. They are pioneers and standard bearers for the Mornington Peninsula. The wines from top to bottom are all sensational and we are proud to call them our friends.
Our philsophy in everything we do is to make the most of top quality ingredients. Intensive, hands-on care in the vineyard, with minimal use of chemicals, produces the best possible fruit for our wines. Wild yeast ferments and minimal intervention winemaking, with a nod to traditional Burgundian techniques, allow our wines to express their site specificity, or terroir.
A touch of tomato leaf with raspberry and a slight black fruited edge to this slightly more plump and plush version of the Devil Bend Creek. Light, gentle tannins slide their way through the middle. Slippery and gorgeous with plenty of fruit but a lovely buoyancy as well.
8. Even Keel Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir 2019
Best Spot in the Mornginton!
Wine grower Sam Coverdale believes in living life and creating wines with character and balance. He believes that great wines are grown not made, and is passionate about creating elegant wines that continue to interest beyond the first glass and truly reflect their region and vintage
Sam's second label, Even Keel, celebrates the strengths of Australia's leading wine regions with a small production of genuine, refined wines grown in regions best suited to specific varieties.
9. Michael Hall Sang de Pigeon Pinot Noir 2019
Awesome Adelaide Hills Pinot!
Not only is Michael a legend, his wines are just fantastic. This is as good as Adelaide Hills Pinot gets and fruit sourced from the cooler parts of the 'Hills' Make all the difference. PWS
Low winter rainfall and blustery weather during flowering resulted in a very small crop. December and January were hot with cooler weather during February and March. Picked on the 4th, 15th and 24th March from Lenswood and Piccadilly, wild yeast fermented in open fermenter and closed puncheons with 22% whole bunches. Matured on malo lees for 11 months in French oak (18% new). Unfined.
Cinnamon, blackcurrant blossom, Pears soap, jasmine, mulled mandarin, pannacotta, musk stick, rhubarb crumble, crystalline violets. MICHAEL HALL WINES
10. Amisfield Lake Hayes Pinot Noir 2019
From Otago Champions Amisfield
91/100 & "Buy of the Week" (Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review Jan 2021)
Lake Hayes Pinot Noir is named after the namesake lake at the foot of Queenstown's Wakatipu basin. One of the most photographed lakes in the country and a striking place to make wine. Made by the crew at Amisfield, just down the road, so you know it will over-deliver and it does.
Forward and plush in style but with of that Otago grunt that kicks along into the more serious side of thing. Damson plums and purple berry fruits with velvety tannins that ultimately deliver and immediately enjoyable wine.
11. La Petit Perriere Pinot Noir 2019
Unbelievable Value French Pinot
The Saget family have a long history dedicated to vines and wine that began in 1790. The new designation of Vin de France offered them the opportunity to explore and discover the ideal balance between the fruitiness of those varieties grown in the south and their acidity when produced in the northern region (Loire).
With restrictions normally much tighter on 'regional wines meant that La Petite Perrière Pinot Noir is largely sourced from their own estate vineyards in Touraine (Loire Valley) and a part of the blend is sourced from the South of France through their long term partners.
This is such a great little wine and punches well above its weight. This is fun and bright with clean red and black fruits meshed with a herbaceous hit of fresh bay, lavender and garrigue. Easy drinking and with enough structure to take on some more serious provincial fare
12. Vina Ventisquero Pinot Noir 2019
High Altitude Chile
Vina Ventisquera, established in 1998, are now a large consolidated company making a swathe of wines off prime Chilean vineyards. While the operation is a bit of a behemoth, their focus on quality and access to excellent source material means they can output some really fantastic wine and extremely affordable prices.
The pinot opens up to an attractively fresh overlay of dried herbs and bright red berries with fine perfume. It takes a bit of swirling to open up but once it does it looks really pretty with nicely poised red fruits that run a sleek line down the middle of the wine. There is a nice focus and energy to the wines and does a great job. If you can decant this you will be rewarded handsomely with a perfect Autumn red.