Hunter Valley Pinot Noir – aka the missing component that has helped make some of the most famous Australian wines of all, the Maurice O’Shea era Mount Pleasant reds.
As a standalone beast, however, Hunter Pinot isn’t a natural winner. Despite the oldest Pinot Noir vines in the country, the variety makes atypical, non-varietal wines that taste of the Hunter Valley, not Pinot Noir. They’re guys who always look like their blue suit doesn’t fit properly. That girl in the corner who stares at people (but is actually really nice).
Even the best wines – and I’m looking at Tyrrell’s & Mount Pleasant as a start – are more dry reds than anything else. Burgundy? Yeah nah. But if you can shelve your desire for delicacy (I still can’t), then Hunter Pinot can be satisfying, and wines like this Tyrrell’s shows the appeal. Dark, sappy fruit is the hero, all cherry red fruit.
If I didn’t show you the bottle you’d think this has some Shiraz in the mix, with brawn rather than beauty (plus the tannins to match). It’s Pinot Noir at its heartiest, and will win fans because of it.
Ultimately this isn’t my bag but I can appreciate the depth of flavour and the unquestioned character. And really, there’s a distinct charisma here too, even if it doesn’t fit the Pinot paradigm, even if I won’t be rushing out to buy some.
Best drinking: now to fifteen years plus. These wines will live forever. 17/20, 90/100. 13.5%, $70. Would I buy it? Just a glass.