Sally’s Hill Pinot Noir 2009 (Pyrenees, Vic)
13%, Diam, $22
I’m approaching this with something of a sense of bemusement, largely as I can’t imagine the Pyrenees as a place to grow serious Pinot Noir. I still can’t shake that voice in the back of my head telling me that Tyrrells produces an, at times, rather bemusing Pinot Noir though, so I’m at least giving this a chance.
What I do find quite entertaining is that this smells like a Pyrenees dry red, not a Pinot Noir, with a nose of mint, dry extract and sappy red fruit. Surprisingly then – to me at least – that the palate starts with a hint of Pinot fruit, a lick of cherry juiciness that is much more Pinotish than expected. It’s even quite pleasant through the middle, politely juicy even, like a medium weight Pinot should be.
But nothing prepares you for what comes next. Simply put, this finishes with the most brutal, mouth molesting tannins imaginable, the sort of tannins that creep up on you like a stalker, before coming on like an astringent drug rush, leaving behind a lingering, mouth puckering aftertaste that even milk can’t get rid of. It’s like eating fresh chillies by mistake and sitting over the sink dry retching. It’s been 5 minutes since my last taste now and my teeth are still stuck together…This could well be a dud bottle, but dud bottles rarely have so much tannins.
In the end this is nothing if not an experience. I feel a little roughed up after it, but hey, at least it was interesting. 11/58