Value Pinot Noir?

20th August 2014

The term Value Pinot Noir has historically been somewhat of an oxymoron. Notoriously difficult to produce and very site specific, Pinot Noir has typically been expensive.

In recent years, wines like De Bortoli’s Windy Peak Pinot Noir have redefined what can be purchased for (well under) $20.

The highlight of this tasting was the 2012 Ables Tempest. From a great year, this is the second wine of Heemskerk and really impressed the panel. That this wine will be available for less than $20 makes it a screaming bargain.


Heemskerk – Pinot Noir – Ables Tempest – 2012 (17.9). A more masculine style. There is both depth and power to the fruit, but this is in no-way overblown. The palate is long and persistent, with hints of oak adding complexity. Will take well to short-term cellaring.

Leeuwin Estate – SBS – Siblings – 2013 (17). Whilst this might be Leeuwin Estate’s entry-level wine, it is quite an impressive package. The nose is fresh, with herbaceous/grassy notes, though it is initially muted. This wine has seen partial barrel ferment (40%) which boosts the textural components, especially on the palate and there is decent length of flavours. Remarkably, this was better the next day, so saving it till next summer may pay dividends.

Angove – Rosé, – Grenache/Shiraz– Nine Vines – 2014 (16.5). The tag on the bottle claims that this is Australia’s most popular rosé, and it is easy to like this wine. The colour is a pretty/vibrant pink and the fruit is fresh and juicy. The relatively dry finish makes this very easy to drink as an everyday quaff.

Angus The Bull – Cabernet Sauvignon – 2012 (17.4). This is actually quite a serious wine. There are aromas of cedar and spice, hints of licorice and blackcurrant fruit. The palate displays cooler region fruit that is dense and taut. Good acidity, supple oak and silky tannins round out the package. Only medium weight, but works a treat. Whilst this wine will work well with a steak now, it is also capable of taking 5+ years in the cellar. From Central Victoria.

Le Cirque Wine Co – Shiraz – Whiz Bang – Barossa – 2013 (17 – 17.5). Delicious mouthful of sunny, ripe fruit, with enough structure and acidity to make this delicious drinking now. There is an attractive glycerol-like sheen to the palate. Good length and mouth-feel rounds out a very attractive package. Another cracking wine under this label. (RRP $16).

Singlefile – Shiraz – 2012 (18). Initially quite closed on the nose, though with air, develops vibrant fruit that is ripe and forward. There is also a lovely pepperiness. The precisely ripe fruit continues on the palate where it is gradually subsumed by the fruit/oak tannins. With air, this really builds depth and texture. Age worthy. (RRP $37).