Top Shelf Aussie + NZ Pinots

Before you ask ‘where is [insert your favourite pinot here]?’ please know that I understand this is not a comprehensive wrap up, rather a detailed snapshot of some of the best.  If you’ve really got your knickers in a twist about us not opening and discussing your favourite pinot, send me a bottle and we’ll get right to it (maybe start with an email…!).

2017 Curly Flat, Macedon

Sour cherry, plum and jasmine tea.  Palate is elegant, stemmy, sappy and savoury structure.  Fine tannins.  Gentle suggestion of olive tapenade laced through the finish. Moderate + length. 

2018 Hurley Vineyard Garamond pinot noir, Balnarring, Mornington Peninsula

Red Xmas cherries, raspberry, succulent midpalate, plush fruit profile.  This has warmth and comfort – fine chalky tannins.  Wicked intense fruit. 

2017 Hurley Vineyard Garamond pinot noir, Balnarring, Mornington Peninsula

The oak on the nose is much more pronounced here – coffee grounds and savoury spice.  The fruit on the palate retains the frontal positioning, and remains in the red cherry, red currant spectrum, but there is a saline lick through the finish that perhaps gives this a slightly greater edge of interest. 

2017 Ata Rangi, Martinborough

Very reticent nose, but once you get there, this is super complex, layered, nuanced.  Savoury and spicy, but laden with plush succulent red and purple fruits.  Xmas cake – quince, date, five spice in there too.  Palate is super concentrated, creamy through midpalate onto the finish… a brilliant wine.  Perhaps I am very familiar with it, so much so it feels like coming home.  Cooling acid.  

2018 Bindi Block 5, Gisborne, VIC

The nose is unforthcoming – structured, very sweet fruit in a great way.  The oak cuddles the fruit, this is warmth and richness – but the acid keeps things laced up.  There is a herbal edge to the fruit – lavender or something. 

2018 Tolpuddle, Tasmania

Saturated red fruits, succulence and plushness – this is creamy and bright and beautiful… When Tas is on, it really delivers a succulence to the fruit that you don’t get elsewhere – argue if you disagree?  So distinctive.  Pleasure here. 

2018 Giaconda Pinot Noir, Beechworth

Funky/stinky nose, this is super worked and layered.  The fruit is stemmy, red, rich and complex – like consecutive notes on a xylophone. This is lingering and drawn out – needs a decant (just like the chardy) pretty brilliant stuff.  You know you’re drinking it.  Distinctive. 

2017 Felton Road Block 3, Central Otago

Wow.  We are not in Kansas anymore.  Palate is super intense, concentrated, red and black fruited.  Jubilant.  Pleasurable. Immediate.  Will live but great now. 

2017 By Farr Tout Pres Pinot Noir, Bannockburn

There’s a herbal lift on this nose – fresh coriander, green peppercorn etc.  Savoury and structured, this has fine chalky grippy tannins and a direction and line that the others express differently.  This is spicy and cooling… crushed rocks/granite/graphite.   

2018 Crittenden Estate Cri de Coeur, Mornington Peninsula

Fresh heirloom tomato, wholly savoury, structured and pretty with a red fruited lift.  Lingering, long and fine, this is an ‘under the radar wine’… one that could pass you by if you didn’t sit still long enough to appreciate it.  

2017 Mount Mary Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley

Fragrant, fine boned and pretty.  Aromatically speaks of strawberry, red berries and lifted tea spice.  It’s so majorly pretty.  This is beautiful fruit drive rather than savoury tannin drive.  

2018 Picardy Tete de Cuvee, Pemberton

Raspberry spice, plum, lifted spice and plushness.  In this lineup and among this company this wine shines.  The olive tapenade character persists, but it is looking excellent today.  Truly.