Category Archives: Pinot Noir

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” Pinot Noir 2014 ($60) led to a vibrant flavour driven palate with excellent length and silky tannins. Delicious!

The elegant Spring Vale Estate Pinot Noir is a perennial favourite of mine and the 2015 vintage ($45) exhibited this wine’s hallmark dark cherry aromas with herbal touches. Well structured, its clearly delineated fine grained tannins framed a complex range of dark fruit flavours with savoury overtones.

The Coal River winery Domaine A has built its reputation on cabernet, but winemaker Peter Althaus also knows how to make a very fine pinot noir. The Domaine A Pinot Noir 2009 ($90) is an excellent example of Tasmania’s potential to produce a rich, opulent style of pinot noir designed to age. This is a well-structured elegant, delicately scented medium-bodied wine with concentrated flavours, silky tannins and a lingering finish.

The 2013 Glaetzer-Dixon Family Winemakers Reveur Pinot Noir ($56) with its firm yet fine tannins and vibrant acidity was also quite Burgundian in style. A beguiling nose of strawberries, dark stone fruits and savoury spice led to a supple and complex flavour profile of cherries and blackberries. Definitely another good one for the cellar!

Over the years the best Tasmanian winemakers have come to understand the subtle nuances of their terroir and developed both the experience and expertise to bring out the very best in their fruit. The Shaw + Smith owned Tolpuddle Vineyard, with its almost 30 year old vines,.. [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]

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]

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,.. [Read More]

Oct 10 2014

Marlborough Pinot Noir wins Six Nations Wine Challenge

Posted on October 10, 2014 | By merrill@cellarit.com

New Zealand has a well deserved reputation for making some of the best pinot noir in the world. But until recently Marlborough on the South Island was far better known for its sauvignon blanc than its pinot noir.

A couple of weeks ago Marlborough’s Dog Point Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012 picked up three very impressive gongs at the prestigious Six Nations Wine Challenge in Sydney – joint recipient of ‘Wine of the Show’ and individual awards for ‘Best Pinot Noir’ and ‘Best Red’.. [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]

Feb 02 2014

Oregon’s Domaine Drouhin Laurène Pinot Noir 1997 – A Testament to the Cellaring Potential of New World Pinot Noir!

Posted on February 02, 2014 | By merrill@cellarit.com

At a dinner party on Saturday night I enjoyed an extraordinary wine. It was the Domaine Drouhin’s Laurène 1997 – a pinot noir from the Burgundian family’s Dundee Hills vineyards in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

The Drouhin family has been making wine in Burgundy since 1880 and in Oregon since the late 1980s. Interestingly Robert Drouhin first “discovered” Oregon as early as 1961. His interest, however, was really piqued in 1980 after David Lett’s 1975 Eyrie South Block Reserve Pinot Noir placed second in a competition organised by Drouhin at Maison Joseph Drouhin in Beaune… [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]

May 05 2011

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti: The Quintessential Expression of Terroir

Posted on May 05, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

If you really want to understand how even small nuances in terroir can create wines with very distinct personalities, the wines of Burgundy’s most famous and revered estate, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC), are perhaps the most telling examples.

DRC either owns outright or has an interest in six of the Grands Cru vineyards of Vosne-Romanée. These vineyards either adjoin or are closely located to each other and some are very small. The most celebrated of them all, La Romanée-Conti, is less than five acres… [Read More]