Category Archives: Australian Pinot Noir

Feb 02 2017

Newcomer Lisdillon Pinot Noir 2015 – Wins Top Gold at Tasmanian Wine Show

Posted on February 02, 2017 | By merrill@cellarit.com

No fewer than 57 wines entered the 2015 pinot class of the recently judged Tasmanian Wine Show, a testament to the growing reputation and popularity of pinot noir in the island state.

Some familiar names dominated the trophy and gold medal cache. The 2015 Bay of Fires Pinot Noir won the Chairman’s Selection Hazards Ale Trophy and the 2015 Goaty Hill Family Reserve Pinot Noir won the People’s Choice James Halliday Trophy. Gold medals were awarded to the 2015 Home Hill Kelly’s Reserve Pinot Noir, the 2015 Bay of Fires Pinot Noir, the 2015 Goaty Hill Family Reserve Pinot Noir and the 2015 Goaty Hill Pinot Noir.

Interestingly, a wine that I wasn’t familiar with, the Lisdillon Pinot Noir 2015, was awarded a Top Gold – in other words, the standout amongst the gold medal winners!

This modestly priced wine (you can find it for less than $35 a bottle) has been garnering great reviews. The Wine Front’s Mike Bennie scored the 2015 vintage 93 points:

Flavoursome, sappy textured, sticks-to-your-gums pinot noir of purity and quiet power. It’s a delicious wine to settle into, full of black cherry, plummy sweetness, fine, chewy tannins. Has quite a bit of ripeness and concentration yet maintains a freshness and comely drinking. Length is a feature, as is wonderful perfume. Quality stuff here, and plenty for the pinot fancier to get excited about. (The Wine Front, February 2017)

The Lisdillon Vineyard is named after Lisdillon Beach on the Tasmania’s east coast. The picturesque property is close to the town of Swansea and the Freycinet National Park. Owned by the Cotton family since 1971, sheep farmer Crispin Cotton decided to plant vines just seven years ago. Unfortunately, Crispin died in 2014, but his family is continuing to manage the property and follow his plans. They must be buoyed by the accolades for their pinot noirs! Definitely a winery worth watching!

By Merrill Witt,.. [Read More]

Aug 08 2016

Tasmanian Pinot Noir: Reaching for New Heights – Highlights from Sydney’s Vin Diemen Tasting

Posted on August 08, 2016 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Vin Diemen, the annual showcase of Tasmanian wine, is always a great event and this year was no exception. Held last Saturday in a new venue – the beautiful historic National Arts School in East Sydney – many of the winemakers were on hand and happy to field questions while busily pouring their wines for big crowds.

The outstanding quality of Tasmanian pinot noir (with some pretty hefty price tags to match!) was one of the highlights of the tasting. The enticing dark cherry and plum fruit aromas of the Holm Oak “The Wizard”.. [Read More]

Feb 02 2016

Tasmania’s Spring Vale Pinot Noir 2013: A Taste of Burgundy in Australia!

Posted on February 02, 2016 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Good vine age, winemaking experience and ideal climatic conditions. These are just some of the key ingredients that have recently coalesced to make Tasmania arguably the most exciting pinot noir producer in Australia at the moment.

Last year the Tolpuddle Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013 was awarded Best Australian Red at the International Wine Challenge in the UK. Owned by Shaw + Smith owners Michael Hill Smith and Martin Shaw, the Tolpuddle Vineyard, planted in 1988, is located in the Coal River Valley just 20 minutes outside of Hobart

2013 was also a great year for another of Tasmania’s East Coast wineries,.. [Read More]

Oct 10 2015

Yabby Lake Block 1 Pinot Noir 2012: Historic win puts the focus on Australian Pinot Noir

Posted on October 10, 2015 | By merrill@cellarit.com

When the Yabby Lake Block 1 Pinot Noir 2012 won the  2013 Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy at the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards for Best Red Wine it was a big deal. Awarded to the best Australian red from the previous vintage, the win marked the first time in the coveted trophy’s 52 year history that the judges had singled out a pinot noir.

But the result didn’t come as a complete surprise to the Chairman of Judges, celebrated Oakridge winemaker David Bicknell. He saw the win as proof of the “ground breaking”.. [Read More]

Sep 09 2015

Tasmania’s Best Pinot Noir – Tolpuddle Pinot Noir 2013

Posted on September 09, 2015 | By merrill@cellarit.com

The 2013 Tolpuddle Pinot Noir, from the famous Coal River Valley vineyard owned by cousins Martin Shaw and Michael Hill Smith of Shaw + Smith in the Adelaide Hills, was recently named Best Australian Red Wine at the International Wine Challenge in London in April.

First released in 2012, the universal applause for both the inaugural and 2013 vintages is the best evidence to date that Tasmania is starting to realise its potential for pinot noir.

Certainly Shaw and Smith haven’t been shy about attaching an expensive price tag to their award-winning wine ($75 rrp)… [Read More]

Apr 04 2015

A Wine to Put on Your Radar: DCB Wine Pinot Noir 2013

Posted on April 04, 2015 | By merrill@cellarit.com

You may recall that not long ago I raved about a bottle of Hoddles Creek 1er Cru Pinot Noir 2013 we enjoyed over dinner. The Wine Front’s Gary Walsh remarked that at $45 per bottle the wine was a bargain, arguing that “To get quality like this out of Burgundy, you’d be looking at up to $150+”. (Hoddles Creek 1er Cru Pinot Noir 2013, The Wine Front 14 January 2015)

Consequently I was very intrigued to read Mike Bennie’s impressive review of the DCB Wine Pinot Noir Yarra Valley 2013 (rrp $20) in this month’s Gourmet Traveller Wine[Read More]

Jan 01 2015

Hoddles Creek Estate 1er Pinot Noir 2013 – Australia’s best pinot noir?

Posted on January 01, 2015 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Over dinner with friends last week at the wonderful Vietnamese-French fusion restaurant La Mint in Darlinghust we enjoyed a bottle of Hoddles Creek Estate 1er Pinot Noir 2013. The wine was a gift from a friend who really knows and loves his pinot noir: “I want you to try something special,” he said.

The wine certainly presents itself as something special. It’s a big, heavy bottle with a very Burgundian looking label. We opened it just at the right time; the slightly sweet, richly layered berry fruit flavours and clean but silky tannins perfectly complemented the deliciously succulent,.. [Read More]

Jun 06 2014

Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir: Terroir + Experience = Superb Results!

Posted on June 06, 2014 | By merrill@cellarit.com

I’ve been fortunate to enjoy a couple of bottles of the Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2012 over the past few months. On both occasions I was really impressed with the enticing dark fruit aromas and the vibrant, pure fruit flavours complemented by a thread of minerality and ever so slight savoury undertones.

The 2012 Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir is quite Burgundian in character

The Wine Front’s Mike Bennie described this wine as being quite Burgundian in character, meaning, to quote Bennie, “fancy oak aromas for the first five minutes,.. [Read More]

Mar 03 2013

Whose Pinot Reigns Supreme? Australia versus New Zealand

Posted on March 03, 2013 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Acqua Panna Global Wine Experience, Saturday, 9 March 2013

When New Zealand winemakers’ Blair Walter (Felton Road) and Nick Mills (Rippon) opened their address with a very loud and captivating rendition of the Maori Haku, the stage was set for a very lively debate about whose pinot reigns supreme? (Wished I taped it, but my photo of Nick Mills give you a bit of an idea!)

The audience was collapsing with laughter while the two Australian winemakers on the panel,.. [Read More]

Feb 02 2013

50 Wines to Try in 2013: No. 5 – Pooley Wines Coal River Pinot Noir 2011

Posted on February 02, 2013 | By merrill@cellarit.com

2012 was a big year for the family-run Coal River Valley winery Pooley Wines. At the prestigious Royal Melbourne Wine Show the Pooley Wines Coal River Pinot Noir 2011 won the hotly contested Douglas Seabrook Trophy for the best single-vineyard wine and the Dan Murphy Trophy for best pinot noir  The winery was also named 2012 Tasmanian Vineyard of the Year – an award given by the Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania in recognition of viticultural practices. To cap it off, third-generation winemaker Matthew Pooley won a Nuffield Scholarship to travel overseas and investigate sustainable small-scale winery establishment and management… [Read More]