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Pinot Noir is a seriously romanticized wine in the world. It gets a cultish following among those who like to drink it. Just look at Paul Giamatti’s character in the film Sideways. One of the reason’s given for the obsession with Pinot is that it is a finicky and difficult grape to grow, but if you achieve this it really expresses the terroir where it is grown.And it is grown or attempts are made in at least most wine-producing countries.

Hailing originally from Burgundy, France, Pinot Noir, and almost all red Burgundy wines are made from 100% Pinot Noir, like all great French wines the village and even vineyard can appear on the label of Pinot Noir wines. For example we have a wine in the shop picture here. IMG_6621This is a wine produced by Stephane Brocard of Closerie des Alisiers, in 2014 from the vineyard of Les Champs Rémy in Gevrey-Chambertin. Confusing isn’t it, you feel like you need a decoder ring to figure it out. The wines from other countries can be a bit easier and straight forward like Antonutti’s Pinot Nero (nero being the Italian for Noir). IMG_6622

Both of these are great examples of Pinot and well worth a try. The Gevrey is a bit young but would be great with a big meal in about a year’s time.

Closerie des Alisiers Gevrey-Chambertin ‘Les Champs Rémy’ 2014 €46.95

A concentrated wine from 40-year-old vines, this is rich and dense. It has a balance between the juicy black fruits and firm tannins, the whole shot through with acidity. Drink this fine single vineyard wine from  late 2018.

Antonutti Pinot Nero 2015, Friuli, Italy €16.95

Ruby red with gently blurred edges. The scent opens with fruity notes such as Blackberry and raspberry and closes in a gently spicy sensations final. The taste is harmonious with a variety of sensations both spicy and fruity, all in harmony with each other; very good gustative persistence.

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Wind beneath my wings

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wingspanOne of the holy grails of the wine trade – Pinot Noir at the right price that actually tastes like Pinot Noir…amazing! Add the fact that it’s from New Zealand and it becomes all the more amazing!! An old friend of ours, Wingspan are based in Nelson, west of Marlborough, farming their vineyards sustainably in this, the warmest region of NZ.

The nose is full of soft red fruits with spicy tones, the palate is a real surprise for a wine at this level: dark berry fruits with real grip, structure and acidity. Hedgerow fruits lie alongside spicy raspberry and classic Pinot tang with a clean, proper finish. Pair with some tasty spicy Chinese duck dishes, or spiced crusted beef brisket.

Australia Day Suggestions

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While Australian wines are going from strength to strength i terms of quality and regional diversity, we have noticed that a great may people have given up on finding that new or exciting bottle from among the ranks of our Aussie selections. They all seem to believe its all about over oaked Chardonnay or big fruit bombs of Shiraz. Well hopefully this post will change your mind we’ve selected 3 of our favourite Aussie wines that move from the classic ingrained idea of what Aussie wine is.

Weemala Tempranillo1) Weemala Tempranillo 2012, Mudgee

Delightful aromas of sarsaparilla, tobacco, red berries and cherries. the palate is robust but not heavy with a gentle kiss of vanilla and red cherry fruit on the finish. An interesting take on the Spanish classic variety Tempranillo.

 

2) Logan Pinot Noir 2013, Orange Logan Pinot Noir

This red pours a beautifully brick red with deeper hues of crimson towards the centre. Soft, silky flavours of red berries and cinnamon spice over perfumed aromas of cherry, chinotto and dried herbs. Beats many a burgundy in terms of quality and drinkablity even at twice it’s price.

 

 3) O’Leary Walker ‘Polish Hill River’ Riesling 2013, Clare Valley

OLW Polish Hill Riesling

Produced using organically grown fruit from the picturesque Polish Hll River sub district of the Clare Valley. This is a delightfully seamless white wine with good backbone and aromas of honey blossom, lime and a mineral delicacy. the palate is very fine and long and drinks like a tight Sancerre.

Pick up some Pinot

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Pinot Noir is sometimes regarded as the most highly prized wine in the world, but why? It’s not as rich or big as Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz; in fact it’s the opposite. Pinot Noir wines are pale in colour and their flavours are very subtle. The grape itself is difficult to grow and suffers from many  problems in the vineyard. Despite the difficulty in growing the grape, prices for a bottle of Pinot Noir are generally more than a similar quality red wine.  In terms of food combinations it is the ultimate on wine fits all; Pinot Noir is light enough for salmon but complex enough to hold up to some richer meat including duck.

Pinot Noir doesn’t grow very well in Australia due to the heat, it is a grape variety that loves cooler climates think of its home in Burgundy in France. It is however thriving in areas where its sister Chardonnay thrives, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra in Victoria, Orange in New South Wales, Adelaide Hills in South Australia and Tasmania . Expect sweeter fruit notes leaning towards blueberry and even blackberry but in a spicy-gamey tinge similar to New Zealand in the aroma.

1)      Weemala Pinot Noir 2011 Orange, New South Wales 17.95

This Pinot is made using fruit from Orange, providing a supple, fruit driven wine that is mouth-watering and addictive. Cool climate fruit imbues this Pinot with alluring perfumed aromas of cherry, cinnamon and dried herb. Classic varietal Pinot flavour and structure with cherries, red berries and a savoury complexity. Head straight to Chinatown and order a duck to pair with this delicious wine.

2)      O’Leary Walker Pinot Noir 2009 Adelaide Hills, South Australia 17.95

We love this funky and often forgotten wine, the boys at O’Leary Walker make so many damn good wines! Gamey, dark berry plum, with hints of sappy juicy pinot fruit explode out of the glass when [poured. Complex, supported with subtle oak influence. The palate oozes silky, long, balanced acid and fine-grained tannin. Once you try this you’ll be hooked.

3)      Dalrymple Pinot Noir 2011, Pipers River Tasmania 39.95

The wine has a vibrant ruby colour, with lifted sweet summer plums aroma, hints of cherry confiture, Chinese 5 spice and complexed with subtle savoury note. It has sweet summer fruits on the palate with nicely structured fresh acidity and silky tannins which in time delivers a savoury complexity typical of these sites. A style that is approachable now, decant one hour before serving. Although will reward with careful cellaring for the next 5-8 years.

Greenhough Tasting

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Last Monday evening we were delighted to have Andrew Greenghough from Greenhough Wines in New Zealand in the shop for a private tasting. We had a great turn out with people literally sitting in every corner! Andrew guided us through a selection of his whites and reds and a few treats too.

First up was the Riesling:

2011 Nelson Riesling This was the favourite of the crowd, lovely nose of sweet green apple and mandarin. Rich sweet citrus on the palate with a lingering finish. The nose also had a slight kerosene edge that Andrew mentioned he wasn’t a fan of but which didn’t seem to detract from people’s likes.

2012 Nelson Riesling I Loved this! The 2012 wine hade more crisp acidity on the palate a fresher cleaner citrus lime/mandarin note. From a much cooler vintage than the previous wine. The crisp acidity and minerality give this wine a very fresh clean finish.

Next we hit the New Zealand Classic Sauvignon Blanc:

2011 Nelson Sauvignon Blanc has slightly ‘sweet’  passion fruit and tropical aromas, leading into a classy wine. Very mouthfilling, it is fruity, with ripe tropical-fruit flavours, showing lovely delicacy and richness, finely balanced acidity, and a long, slightly spicy, dry finish. Again the older more rounded wine was the favourite.

2012 Nelson Sauvignon Blanc punchy with vital  fresh  passion and citrus fruits over a hint of gooseberry and grassy-ness. Zesty and fresh on the palate with crisp tropical and citrus fruits and nice mineral edge. Absolute classic. Beats Sancerre any day!

Then the Pinot Blanc:

2010 ‘Hope Vineyard’ Pinot Blanc Subdued nose with slight hints of pear, apple and oaky spice. It’s very full-bodied, weighty, complex and rich, with deep peach, pear and spice flavours, slightly buttery and savoury. A wine that split the room,  this is certainly a food wine!

Next was the Reds:

2007 Nelson Pinot Noir Ripe dark and medium red cherry aromas, ripe cranberry and floral notes. The palate was juicy with fleshy cherry flavours and notes of strawberry and raspberry,  and light unobtrusive oak spice.

2010 Nelson Pinot Noir Intense red cherry and pomegranate aromas with hints of clove. Very Ripe and young style plenty of fruit flavours and structure from tannin. A wine that will mature nicely.

2003 ‘Hope Vineyard’ Pinot Noir** Very expressive nose despite being 10 years old,  with juniper berry, star anise and thyme. Berries is the theme of the seductive palate with complimentary fruit compot.  A vibrant mineral freshness adds life and elegance to the mouthfeel.  Soft silky tannins on the long lingering  finish  with notes of savoury berries, liquorice, subtle oak spice.

And finally the Desert:

2012 Noble Riesling Typical nose of botrytised Riesling citrus and apricot and peach. Lovely fresh and zesty palate and finish. Delightful desert wine that you could drink a whole bottle of in no time!!! Lovely and luscious!!

**Not Available for sale. This stock is from the shops tasting reserves.