Woodlands Margaret River Pinot Noir 2013
This shouldn’t work. Actually, Margaret River Pinot normally doesn’t, so its probably more of an outlier than the start of something. Still, this Woodlands Pinot Noir is impressive stuff.
The key here, arguably, is the vineyard itself, with the Woodlands ‘Estate’ Vineyard straddling a south facing slope in the middle of the Wilyabrup dress-circle. Like the estates around it (Brookland Valley abuts it to the south), the vines here are typically old, with some plantings dating back to 1973 (’74 for the Pinot). The soil profile here shows a shallow topsoil over gravel and clay too, which is considered to be one of the more desirable soil types in Wilyabrup.
It’s a vineyard that looks and feels special, and, when coupled with the attention of new generation Watson brothers Andrew and Stuart, can produce some of the best wines in Margaret River.
But that’s not the whole reason why this Pinot impresses. Like how this is not fined or filtered at all, which serves to make this seriously cloudy and carrying the thick, grainy texture that you normally see largely in barrel samples.
Such unfined and unfiltered wildness is par for the Pinot course in the Yarra, or the Adelaide Hills. Yet in Margaret River, where Pinots (and most wines) are polished and cross-flowed to perfection, this has a pinosity and red sappy fruit fleshiness that successfully wards off the dry-reddish lack of delicacy that marks Pinot from regions (like Margaret River) that get a little warm.
Admittedly this doesn’t have the velvety beauty of a delicate Mornington Pinot, but for Margs (and in a warm vintage) this is a triumph. Mid weight, yet powerful, sappy red fruited and full of life.
The only challenge? It’s basically sold out. And the price? At $75 its mighty steep. Still, this deserves attention and serious kudos.
Source: Cellar Door.
Score: 18.3/20, 93/100
Would I buy it? I did, though not sure it would be a regular purchase.