Latest Tastings: New Release Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs

True wine heads love the Burgundy varieties, chardonnay and pinot noir. There is something very earthy, human-scale, artisanal, about these wines. Great pinot noir cannot be made on an industrial scale. The same can be said of chardonnay, each 220 litres is fermented in its own barrel, and that means very hands-on winemaking.

I have a special thrill when I can announce that I’ve just uploaded substantial tastings of new releases of these two varietals. More than 70 chardonnays and 90 pinot noirs (pinots noir?), and they include some of the very finest. In pinot, there’s the 2010s from Ata Rangi, Farr Rising and Yering Station and the ’09s from Kooyong, Hurley, and the amazing, screwcapped ’09 red Burgundies from Marchand & Burch.

In chardonnay, there’s the magnificent Howard Park, Phi, Bannockburn and perhaps a surprise for some of you, because it’s undersung, Castle Rock Diletti – from a maker who impresses me more and more each year. Also Leeuwin, Bay of Fires, Lenton Brae, an exciting newie from the Yarra called Bird On A Wire. And something special from Mount Pleasant under the cellar-door label Leontine, named after Maurice O’Shea’s mother – and it is a cracker…unlike any Mount Pleasant chardonnay I’ve ever tasted. Get into them.

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