There were a number of highlights across this week’s New Release tastings. From the precise and delicate Howard Park Riesling to the sheer power and intensity of the Pernot Belicard Puligny, there is something here for everyone. Having said that, none of the wines are exactly cheap.
The Pinots from Wither Hills are worthy of singling out for their diversity of styles. The Benmorven is pure and precise, whilst the Taylor River is funky and delicious.
Howard Park – Riesling – Porongorup – 2015 (18). Lovely fresh fruit on the nose, though in a restrained style. The palate is floral and aromatic, with refreshing acidity to close. A very fine wine, with lime juice over a core of Nashi pear. Excellent length and the minerality builds. (RRP $34).
Silvan Bzikot – Chardonnay – Bourgogne – Blanc – 2013 (17). A middle of the road style, where good quality fruit has been well handled, with little in the way of oak. Not overly intense or complicated, but a very enjoyable drink. The acidity really brings the palate together on the close. ($40 from Lamont’s Cottesloe).
Moss Wood – Pinot Noir – Wilyabrup – 2013 (17.8). A really interesting wine from a region not known for Pinot. Opens with ripe, succulent fruit over sweet vanillin notes. The palate is vibrant and delicious, with the fruit the main feature. Fragrant and elegant, this builds cherry notes with air. Finishes with refreshing acidity and fine tannins. (RRP $65).
Wither Hills – Pinot Noir – Benmorven – 2011 (17.9). High fruit quality, made in a serious style. Dark, powerful fruit on the palate, with a touch of cocoa over plum and black cherry fruit. Fine, though persistent tannins underscore the quality of the fruit. The finish is long and fine, with supple tannins/structure. Enjoyable now, but will be better in 5 years.
Wither Hills – Pinot Noir – Taylor River – 2011 (17.7). Really interesting wine. The nose is packed with minerals and spice. There is even a curry-leaf aroma. The palate is supple and refined, with spicy red fruits over souring acidity and tannins. The fruit gets quite earthy and textured (perhaps a touch of Bret). The purists might object, but this is a wine full of character and my pick of the tasting to drink now.
Special Occasion Wines
Pernot Belicard – Chardonnay – Puligny Montrachet – 1er Cru – Les Perrieres – 2013 (18.5++). Fantastic power and intensity here. Pineapple, curry leaf, stone fruit, minerality and a touch of oak all express on the nose. The palate is powerful and precise, with the fruit characters carrying the length of the palate. Grapefruit-like acidity combines with minerals and hints of toast from the oak on the finish. Impressive. (Approx. $220).
Domaine Bzikot – Chardonnay – Puligny Montrachet – 2013 (18.3). Impressive fruit weight on the nose and palate. Powerful, intense and mouth-watering. Taut, razor-sharp acidity balances the rich fruit perfectly. Long and complex, this really needs a couple of years to fill out. (RRP $90)