Punt Road Airlie Bank Pinot Noir 2015
Add this into the ‘best circa $20 wines basket’.
Punt Road have been on an upward trend over the past few years, with a renewed focus on only producing wines from estate grown fruit, plus a huge (healthy) dose of experimentation delivering some great results.
You only have to flash back a few days ago to witness that, as Punt Road picked up four trophies at the Melbourne Wine Awards, with winemaker Tim Shand awarded the Kym Ludvigsen Trophy for Viticultural Excellent.
Smart man he is too.
The intention with this Punt Road Airlie Bank Pinot Noir 2015 is to craft a Cru Beaujolais styled red using 20% whole bunches and minimal extraction in a bid for liveliness.
That said, it’s a wine that follows in the footsteps of the wonderfully wild ‘Noir‘ and channels some of that wines meaty hints, if in a slightly more conventional package.
Of particular interest here is the edge of ham, smoke and sausage – just like the wild Noir, but cleaner. The palate, too, is driven by tannins, which are sandy and grippy and lively. It contributes to a wine that is more guttural, more real than nearly any sub $30 Yarra Pinot I can think of.
This is anything but the pretty, red fruited Yarra Pinot. It’s not hyper-polished. The intention is for lightness, but those sandy tannins take this beyond simple fruit. It’s raw and alive.
It’s not hard to like a wine like this. Or at least I do. Like the best Cru Beaujolais there is a substance here – an extra layer of grunt and heart to remind you that wine is more than just squished fruit.
Like. Outstanding value too. Best drinking: 2016-2022. 17.8/200, 92/100. 13%, $22. Would I buy it? Sure would.