Winery in Focus: Picardy Spring 2023

Barry Weinman: 30th September 2023

Over the last two weeks, the Panel looked at a cross-section of the Picardy range against a variety of high-quality comparators.

That the pinots were good would not be a surprise to anyone, but what impressed me the most was the quality of the whites.

The 2023 Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon will be a cracking drink over the warmer months, whilst the 2022 Chardonnay is the best I can remember from Picardy and, at $55, is something of a bargain when compared to equivalent quality wines from other regions.

I would encourage you to try it if you get the chance.

The best value wine in the range would have to be the shiraz. Lithe, fresh and supple, it is a steal at under $40.

The Pannels are strong advocates for the use of corks, and all wines except the SBS are sealed with high quality natural corks or Diam corks.


Picardy – Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon – 2023. This was a real highlight, as the vibrancy of the sauvignon blanc has been held in check by sympathetic winemaking, which included a proportion of barrel ferment I assume, to add texture and depth. The end result is a zesty, textured wine with lemony fruit supported by tangy acidity (which I very much enjoyed). Gentle astringency on the finish adds to the texture and mouthfeel, and there is excellent length and persistence of flavours. A very smart wine that will be great drinking this spring/summer on its own, or with some freshly shucked oysters. 12.5% alc, 92-93pts – $30.

Picardy – Chardonnay – 2022. Whilst the SBS may be the crowd pleaser in the range, the Chardonnay was the wine that excited me the most. I would go so far as to say that this is my favourite wine of the entire range right now and is worthy of comparison to the best of Margaret River.
This is a complex wine that emanates subtle power beneath the nectarine and white peach fruit. A touch of lemon pith comes through on the palate, supported by supple minerality and lovely textural notes. The quality oak adds depth, while the supple worked characters (Lees stirring and partial malolactic fermentation) build texture. A bit of a sleeper. Clones 76, 95, 96 and 277, 13.5%, 95pts – $58.

Picardy – Pinot Noir – 2021. This has it all. Perfumed, pretty fruit, gentle savoury notes of cedar and spice and just a hint of berry. The palate is lithe and supple, with savoury notes building on the finish. A very fine, elegant wine that has depth and power behind the supple façade. 20% whole bunch fermentation, a selection of 11 clones, 13.5% alc, 94pts – $69.

Picardy – Tete de Cuvée – Pinot Noir – 2020. This is something of a wolf in sheep’s clothing, or perhaps more fittingly, an iron fist in a velvet glove. At once, this is both fleshy and juicy, but it is also intensely concentrated and very powerful. It is both revealing and open, yet complex and age worthy. The elegant strawberry fruit is supported by a hint of orange peel/bouquet garni, with both the fruit and gentle savoury notes lingering on a long finish. 13.5% alc, 95pts – $118.

Picardy – Shiraz – 2021. Lithe and fresh, with supple, fragrant red fruits complemented by silky winemaking notes. This is very fine and elegant, its quality expressing in its finesse and length of flavours, rather than raw power. Good to go now, or in five -10 years. Diam cork, 94-95pts – $38.