When I was researching my previous post on Australian pinot noir, Australian Pinot Noir: Coming into Its Own, I came across a list by Andrew Graham of the Australia Wine Journal entitled Australia’s 10 most ageworthy Pinot Noirs.
The list caused quite a bit of commentary and debate, and I have reprinted Graham’s recommendations here: Mount Mary Pinot Noir, Yarra Yering Pinot Noir, Bannockburn Serré Pinot Noir, By Farr Sangreal Pinot Noir, Ashton Hills Reserve Pinot Noir, Bass Phillip Estate Pinot Noir, Domaine A Pinot Noir, Stonier Reserve Pinot Noir, Kooyong Ferrous Pinot Noir and Bindi Block 5 Pinot Noir. You can read Graham’s very insightful comments for why each of the wines were chosen on his blog.
Graham defines ageworthy “as the ability to mature, and indeed improve, with cellaring times for 8 years plus.” Like many of the readers who responded to his post, I wouldn’t necessarily think of ageing Australian pinot noir for so long. One reader commented: “I suspect most people drink them too young and miss out on the aged versions. What do most folk think about optimal age for decent Pinot Noir? I’d say 5-10y which is medium term vs Shiraz / Cab Sav.”
I was curious what an esteemed, if sometimes controversial, wine critic thinks about the longevity of pinot noir. Here’s Robert Parker’s 1995 assessment of the ageability of American pinot noir: “Most American Pinot Noirs should be consumed within their first 5-7 years of life. As most Burgundy collectors sadly acknowledge (provided they can honestly accept the distressing reality), once beyond the wines of Domaine Leroy, Domain Ponsot, and ten or so others, great red burgundy is also a wine to drink young.” (Robert Parker, American Pinot Comes of Age, Wine Advocate #99, June 1995)
OK, he’s not talking about Australian pinot noir, but America is a world-class New World producer that has been making pinot noir for about as long (two to three decades) as Australia so making the comparison seems apt… [Read More]