Pining for Pinot

Pining for Pinot Vinous Ponderings #1

What an interesting summer it has been across Australia, 40 degree’s one day followed by torrential rain and unseasonably cool weather the next.

I wanted to wax on about Pinot Noir being the perfect summer drinking red, most often bright, fresh, lighter bodied rhubarb rhubarb, etc, etc… So I’m going to do it anyway as we are blessed with some great releases from this variety at the moment (if we ever aren’t) and let’s share the news. Unknowingly it’s waxing on Vintage 2015 and Pinot Noir … with a focus on just three of our gems

2015 Ashton Hills Estate Pinot Noir
2015 La Prova Pinot Nero
2015 Stoney Rise Pinot Noir

Adelaide Hills producer Ashton Hills has just released very small volumes of their 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir and 2015 Estate Pinot Noir, the purity, length and balance of both wines is fantastic, they drink wonderfully now and will age with elegance for 5 – 10+ years.

Estate Pinot Noir 2015 Adelaide HillsDeep-ish red with a healthy tinge of purple; dark cherry aromas, rich and ripe, fruit-driven with abundant spice, nettle characters and deep, powerful, concentrated flavour which lasts long on the palate. Big attack, impressive wine, and great value at this cellar door price – 95 Points, James Halliday

[Ashton Hills] is the most distinguished site in South Australia for Pinot Noir; Stephen’s unremitting attention to detail has made Ashton Hills the one Grand Cru of the state – James Halliday

Ashton Hills Estate Pinot Noir 2015Tremendous concentration and classic fragrant lift – this is a Burgundy-slayer! Has just enough funk on the palate to give interest without compromising the fruit. Absolutely divine – has not just the nose and palate of great Pinot Noir, but the soul too. Drink 2017-2030 – 18/20, Richard Hemming MW –

Staying in the Adelaide Hills and moving across to a Basket Range release from Sam Scott, the 2015 La Prova Pinot Nero is ridiculous at $25 retail, the fruit from this wine was destined for the first Scott Pinot Noir, however a last minute sale of the vineyard led to no guarantee’s of continuation and quality assurance, which is code ‘red’ for Sam Scott. Sam’s disappointment is our bonus, seeing the fruit diverted to 2015 Pinot Nero, just enough funk and complexity to intrigue, while plenty of fruit, length and natural acid balance to thrill. Sam rabbit’s on about the 777 clone being the star here; I think this wine is more in the 007 mould of sophistication and sex on wheels Aston Martin style, just a little more affordable perhaps.

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For those of us who can swim, let’s cross the straight to the House of Holyman at the Stoney Rise vineyard in the Tamar Valley. I can only be honest and say I most often think the Stoney Rise Pinot is a tad lively at it’s February release, so the 2015 now 12 months down the track is up there for me as a ‘go to’ bevvy at the moment. All the same waxing’s as the wines mentioned above, with an added caramelised lick from a bit of old oak, the acid is definitely there and makes it all the more perfect for summer drinking at low abv of 12.5%, great drink Joe and Lou.

95 Points. Vibrant colour, and a vibrantly juicy wine from start to finish. First up there is a rolling wave of red fruits, then a move to more savoury/spicy territory. The end result is a wine that is beautiful now and will be well into the future. 12.5% alc. To 2030 – James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion 2017.

Joe Holyman is one of the best, most intuitive winemakers in the country. My goodness, this is just flat out delicious. Juicy red fruits dusted with Asian spices and vanilla florals, cut fennel and sweet fresh picked herbs. It’s light bodied, vibrant and bursting with fresh red fruits and subtle earthy and herbal undertones, pure sparkling crunchy acidity, and ultra-fine sandpaper tannin on the long bright finish provides the final polish. All the fun of the fair, with effortless drinkability. If you like a good Cru Beaujolais, then this Tassie Pinot will tickle your fancy – Gary Walsh, Winefront

The 2015 Holyman Pinot Noir is also now available, and we have a few bottles of the 2013 Project X Pinot Noir also remaining, to be frank, I’m still loving the last of the 2014 Holyman Pinot Noir.

Now, where’s that Duck?

Brett Trewartha

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Ask the question, hear the answer

Ray Jordan’s Top 100 Australian Reds 2017

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Nick Ryan, THE AUSTRALIAN, 13 June 2017

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