New releases from Picardy
It is not hard to appreciate the wines of Picardy – rich with structure, acidity, character – the lot. The Pinot Noir, in particular, easily amongst the finest in all of WA (and famously long-lived). A healthy dose of vintage variation also reminds that Pemberton is a real place, with real seasons, even if that results in some uneven wines from time-to-time.
You can see that divergence in this range of releases too – from the open, warm-hearted generosity of the 2011 vintage wines to the more compact, firm and occasionally jangly 2010 releases.
A special mention must go to the 2011 Pinot Noir which is one of the best Picardy Pinots I can remember.
I tasted these wines with Picardy winemaker Dan Pannell recently, with Dan, like his father Bill, another honest maker with an appreciation for exactly where his families wines sit in the modern context.
Picardy Chardonnay 2011 (Pemberton, WA) 13% $38CD
Nutty, full solids nose. Looks just a little oaky, but underneath that popcorn oak is a very fine, firm acid line, right through to the finish. Perhaps a little fatter this year but quite attractive and mouth-filling. 18/20, 93/100
Picardy Pinot Noir 2011 (Pemberton, WA) 13.5% $38CD
Very light coppery colour. Lots of stems on the nose and perhaps a little stem firmness to taste, but retains its freshness. Plenty of acidity. Lovely fragrance and pinosity, the vibrancy retained even despite the warm vintage, with just a little bacon bit heaviness on the finish. Very nice and firm, with both red fruit generosity and firm structure. Big, but utterly delicious. Yes. 18.5/20, 94/100
Picardy Shiraz 2010 (Pemberton, WA) 13.5% $28CD
Includes 2% Malbec and 2% Viogner. ‘A Pinot made from Shiraz grapes’ according to Dan Pannell. Smoked ham and sweet currants on the peppery nose, a frontal assault before mid-weight and quite smoky, meaty palate. Lovely fine tannins. Tannins are the best thing about it actually as those hammy/briary black flavours aren’t my thing. ‘Wait another 5 years for this’ says Dan. Score is largely for the tannins and potential. 17/20, 90/100
Picardy Merlot Cab /Franc 2010 (Pemberton, WA) 13.5% $28CD
‘Just you wait for the 2011’ says Dan. Light and quite Franc laden prettiness on the nose. Very cool and restrained if not quite even, the palate something of a muddle of flavours. Fine tannins but seems to lack just a little definition. A little firm and minty and sappy but has some length. Great refreshment saves everything. Just not quite the acid/tannin balance and already quite secondary, but gee it has some length to it. 17.5/20, 91/100