Welcome to International Pinot Noir Day, August 18!
Of course as a lover of Burgundy, I like to celebrate the varietal on the other 364 days of the year too, but the great thing about pinot is how well it’s made right around the world.
Yesterday we had a look at two of the best Burgundies on a budget. Tomorrow I’ll look at two from New Zealand (to either celebrate or commiserate the Wallabies v All Blacks test tonight).
Australia is now slouch either, from the likes of leader-of-the-pack Phillip Jones of Gippsland’s Bass Phillip, to the Yarra Valley, Beechworth and Mornington Peninsula as great pinot producing regions.
But the Victorians don’t have the market cornered. Down south in Tasmania there are some mighty fine pinot noirs being produced, especially around the Coal River Valley.
Here are a couple you might not be familiar with:
2017 Hughes & Hughes Tasmanian Pinot Noir
Various regions, RRP $32
Have never come across this label before. My misfortune. The brothers Hughes, of Mewstone Vineyard in southern Tasmania, created this label to allow them to source fruit from some of Tasmania’s smallest vineyards to produce “bright wines with strong natural acidity and drinkability”.
This is a delicious realisation of that raison d’être and is a blend of southern fruit from the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and the Coal River, Derwent and Huon valleys.
Medium weight ruby red. Bright floral bouquet of small red fruits, wild strawberry, hint of woodsy menthol aromas.
Energetic, fresh fruit attack really quite piquant, light bodied with musky, fragrant red berry length, and afternotes.
So, so easy to love and an excellent example of why pinot is “The Great Seducer”; outstanding quality for this price point.
2014 Pressing Matters Pinot Noir
Coal River Valley, Tasmania. RRP $54
Another winery name that’s new to me, however the owners are no strangers. I’ve known co-owner Greg Melick for the best part of 30 years, and notwithstanding the many great bottles of Burgundy I’ve shared with him during that period.
I don’t believe I’ve tasted his pinot noir before.
Bright medium red just showing some development at the rim. The complex bouquet has notes of red cherry, Asian spice, forest floor and a back note of oak.
The palate is shapely and commences with zippy red and black fruit high notes supported by bass notes of root beer, some more forest floor character and again that background hint of new oak.
Medium-long and refreshing with excellent closing tannins and persistent aftertaste. Nicely done.
TOMORROW: Two of the best from New Zealand.
Frank Wilden is a retail food strategist and a “lapsed” restaurateur whose love of wine began nearly four decades ago.
Frank is writing this regular wine column for Business Insider Australia. If you have wines you’d like him to try for this column, contact him touch with him via @thefrankreport on Twitter
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