The Pinot Project is a 12-year trial involving 19 vineyards, looking at key climate and soil influences.
Why is pinot noir so revered and gamay neglected?
I’ve been drinking more sauvignon blanc than usual these last few days. But not just any old sauvignon blanc. This grape variety polarizes wine drinkers. It’s a love/hate thing. Sometimes it seems as though the aficionados automatically despise anything that achieves mass popularity. Like Ken Done’s art, ABBA’s music, moscato or pinot gris.
Three producers – Ten Minutes by Tractor (the 2013 vintage), Eldridge Estate (the 2014s) and De Salis (2013s) – dominate the 80 new-release pinot noir tasting notes uploaded to the app this month.
It’s interesting how many ‘conventional’ wine producers are now climbing on the skin-fermented white wine bandwagon. No doubt they can see that a new market has opened up, and there’s an opportunity if they can create a wine to suit the niche.
The top Australian wines are expensive. That’s the conclusion to draw from my top 25 new-release Australian wines of the year, as drawn from my tasting database. There are some exceptions, however: Yeringberg red at $70 ex-winery is great value when you compare it to most of the other high-scoring wines.
The 2012 vintage for pinot noir in the cooler, southerly regions of Australia was excellent, but – unlikely as it may seem with back-to-back vintages – 2013 trumps it. My tasting of 92 current release pinot noirs (including a handful of Kiwis) covers 45 from 2013. They include five gold-medal scoring wines (95 or more points) and a raft of silvers – 20 in all, scoring between 90 and 94 on the 100-point scale. That’s 25 out of 45 wines scoring 90 or more points, which is an outstanding result.
Australia is a paradise for chardonnay lovers. The calibre of these wines continues to grow, and there is also a pleasing diversity of style which means everyone’s tastes are catered for. My January tasting of 120 chardonnays is now online, and the highlights are many.
Eldridge Estate Pinot Noir, Mornington Peninsula 2012 $50 A blend of six clones, this has a deep colour and typical smoky, char-oak characters typical of this maker’s young pinots. Rich but elegant flavour, with a delicious spectrum of intense flavours. Precision ripeness, tight focus, and
Jeffrey Grosset’s 2012 Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir (tasting) heads the list of stellar performers among the 83 new release pinot noirs uploaded this month. It is a truly sublime pinot and worth the $80 asking price. The latest lot of pinot reviews are mostly from Australia