This took place @ Liquidity in Rozelle. Certainly a glorious sport for a tasting (by day), but the place looked more like a construction site in the dark.
All wines where served blind – although if I had of wandered up to the front before hand I would have known what we where tasting.
The hosts for this were Julian Alcorso & Andrew Pirie with Huon Hooke anchoring. I feel sorry for the non wine people in the crowd as some of the Pinot Noir discussions delved into serious technical depths (particularly about clones) and droned on on an empty stomach. I found myself agreeing with Huon & Andrew Pirie’s knowledge is very impressive indeed.
My notes are just impressions so I apologise for the slightly abrupt style. The points would be higher if judged separately but I think everyone becomes a points miser in a cross section like this.
D’Meure Birchers Bay Pinot Noir 2005 (Huon & South Region, Tas – $79.99) Classic red cherry nose, leafy with some quite obvious choc oak. Big acidity on the palate. I found this a little one dimensional and overblown myself. 17/20
Kelvedon Estate Pinot Noir 2006 (East Coast Region, Tas – $29.99) Lovely ripe red fruit nose, with soft red fruits on the palate. The whole package felt warm, cuddly and ripe, yet with a grippy, stalky finish. 16/20
De Bortoli Reserve Pinot Noir 2006 (Yarra Valley, Vic – $54.99) The nose is tight, backwards and reserved with some choc oak poking through. The palate is tight, linear and absolutely perfectly formed. Real class & style here. 18.5/20+ and my second favourite wine of the night.
Carrick Pinot Noir 2006 (Central Otago, NZ – $49.99) Another reserved nose, this needs time as at present it is a grippy, well structured Pinot that looks towards the future. My notes here just talk about the structure, which I really loved 18/20
Grosset Pinot Noir 2006 (Adelaide Hills, SA – $64.99) Pencil shavings, oak, green stalks with ripe & unripe fruit that is both forward yet tough all at once. I love Mr Grosset’s other wines, but this did little for me. 15.5
Home Hill Pinot Noir 2005 (Huon & South Regions, Tas – $79.99) Rich, textured with integrated acidity & power plus. I really liked this & it was my favourite Tassie 18/20
Bream Creek Reserve Pinot Noir 2005 (East Coast Regions, Tas – $37.99) Back to Earth with a thud, this is a big simple, hot style with little of appeal. 15/20
Chanson ‘Les Vergelesses’ 1er Cru 2005 (Pernard Vergelesses, France – $84.99) Menthol, ‘animale’, powerful fruit & firm structure. Needs time to show its best & suffered compared to the voluptuous wines in this tasting. I was stoked to have picked this as the Burgundy though. 16.5/20
Kooyong Single Vineyard ‘Ferrous’ Pinot Noir 2005 (Mornington Peninsula, Vic – $59.99) Lovely, meaty even stinky nose, firm acidity on the palate, lovely style and structure. This was just a classic Pinot and I secreted it away to drink for the rest of the night. I thought this was Martinborough myself. Yum 18.8/20
Martinborough Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006 (Martinborough, NZ – $84.99) A shy, blocky oaky nose with a tight, sappy palate. Really needs some time in the bottle, thoughy not sure if it will hit the heights of the stunning 05. 16/20
Clemens Hill Reserve Pinot Noir 2005 (East Coast Region, Tas – $51.99) Nice fragrant nose, with a sweet red fruited palate. Generous and supple it was but I was bored. 17/20
Pirie Sigma Pinot Noir 2005 (Relbia, Tas – $64.99) Another fragrant nose, this was tightly bound in its tannin and acidity. Desperately needs time. 17/20
Interesting to see that most people rated the Tassie wines higher than I did. Personally I really question the value of the tassie wines in this lineup, with prices that are ridiculously high given that the labels have little brand cache and the quality was rather hit & miss. $85 for an unknown simple Tassie Pinot? No thanks, I’ll stick to the comparatively cheap De Bortoli, Carrick & Kooyong’s thanks & pocket the change.
This was followed by a few more to sit and drink with cheese and such.
The Wine Society Tasmanian Pinot Noir 2007 ($19.99) A simple light Pinot Noir that was very easy to drink. After this lineup it came across as very one dimensional, but ok value nonetheless.
Ninth Island Tasmanian Pinot Noir 2007 ($24.99) Young and hollow. This felt stripped & lifeless. Checked two other bottles for consistency – All the same. Way too young yes, but still lacking.
Tamar Ridge Pinot Noir 2005 Welcome back. Now this is much better. Fragrant juicy, with good structure. Great value & well well worth the extra couple of dollars.
Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2007 It’s another very young Pinot, but the hallmarks are there. Its not the finest year for this label but its still rather tasty stuff.