Reviewed by Barry Weinman
30th July 2015
Affordable Pinot Noir
Notoriously difficult to produce, Pinot Noir remains the Holy Grail for many winemakers and enthusiasts alike. At their best, Pinots possess an almost ethereal quality, fanning out and caressing all parts of the palate.
Finding good Pinot Noir is difficult enough. Finding affordable Pinot Noir that offers good drinking is a great challenge.
Whilst none of the wines below are exactly cheap, they do offer a lot of interest at their respective price points. The Singlefile is a joy to drink, with supple fruit and a silky mouth-feel.
The Villa Maria is notable for the way it builds in the glass and bottle over time. This was at its best 2 – 3 days after being opened.
In contrast, the St Mary’s offers an insight into how regional influences can impact on the flavour profile of the wine. This wine speaks of its Limestone Coast origins, with menthol and eucalypt characters. Not a classic Pinot, but a really interesting expression of terroir!
Singlefile – Pinot Noir – 2013 (18). Beautiful, precise, perfumed Pinot fruit characters. The palate is silky and textured, with delicate cherry fruit over pretty floral notes. Subtle oak adds depth. There is excellent mouth-feel, with an expansive palate. A joy to drink now, but the quality fruit will build in the bottle for a few years. A bargain (RRP $33).
Villa Maria – Pinot Noir – Cellar Selection – 2012 (17.8). Really pretty colour. Ripe cherry fruit characters with savoury complexity on the nose. The palate shows cherry and plum, with decent depth to the fruit. Gentle grip from the oak and tannins adds mouth-feel, whilst a hint of stalkiness adds structure and interest. With air, the fruit builds nicely, so a few years in the cellar will not hurt. (RRP $40).
St Mary’s – Pinot Noir – Limestone Coast – 2013 (17.4). Mint and eucalypt over dense, dark fruit, with decent power and intensity. The minty characters continue on a palate that is both intense and long. The fruit flavours linger and evolve for some time. Perhaps a touch of whole bunch fermentation, contributing to the rich fruit. More typical of the region than the grape, but an interesting wine ($35).