New Release Pinot – May 2023

Barry Weinman: 30th May 2024

I love good pinot noir, and my obsession with the variety has been fuelled over the years by the challenges of finding high quality wines at affordable prices.

In recent times, the overall quality of Australian pinot has improved in consistency greatly, to the point where there are now a number of (relatively) affordable wines that offer excellent drinking.

The 3 Drops is an excellent example. $40 full price, with discounts for dozens from the winery.

And the panel were most impressed with the 2022 Bay of Fires pinot. At $63 this is not exactly cheap, but it is often discounted making for good buying.

My top pick is the 2021 Drumborg from Seppelt. A bargain at $45 or less.


3 Drops – Pinot Noir – 2023. Gorgeous, luminous colour. This is an excellent wine. There is supple cherry and plum fruit characters, with just a hint of aniseed and earthy complexity. The mouthfeel is defined by the fine acidity which imbues freshness and life. But as this sits in the glass, the fleshy fruit really starts to build. Ticks all the boxes and, while great drinking now, should develop nicely over the next 5 or so years. Made by Rob Diletti, fruit from the Patterson’s Vineyard, the wine spent 10 months in oak, 24% new. 13.5% alc – 93pts – $40.

Bay of Fires – Pinot Noir – 2022. This is a very smart wine, where the fruit and savoury notes play equally important roles. This has depth and intensity and there is a sense of gravitas to the mouthfeel. The tannins add grip and texture, the length and persistence are also a highlight. That said, it is the fruit that is the star. Modern and decent value for a top notch Tasmanian pinot. 13.5% alc, 95pts – $63.

Seppelt – Drumborg – Pinot Noir – 2021. A very interesting expression of pinot, with aromatic spices leading the bouquet, followed by pristine, ripe fruit. So fine and elegant, this is pretty (and delicious), yet it is serious enough to hold its own in any line up. After the tasting, I served the 2013 vintage of this wine, which highlighted the cellaring ability of the wine. Spent 9 months in oak (23% new).13.0% alc – 94pts – $45.

John Kosovich – Pinot Noir – 2021. Pretty berry fruit is overlaid with stalky, whole bunch complexity. The palate is fresh and has a degree of fleshiness that makes it very approachable. But the tannins and oak builds structure and adds greatly to the package. A good drink. 13.5% alc – 92pts.
Shepherd’s Hut – Pinot Noir – 2022. This is good. Excellent fruit quality, fine acidity and gentle texture contribute to a supple mouthfeel. Gentle tannin grip and supple oak add the finishing touches. Ticks all the boxes for an early drinking pinot that won’t break the bank.13.5% alc- 92pts – $34.

Bachelet-Monnot – Bourgogne Rouge – Pinot Noir – 2021. Pristine, fine, elegant and focused, with silky mouthfeel and excellent length and persistence. This is not as dense or powerful as some, but makes up for it with great drinking pleasure. A modern interpretation of Burgundy and all the better for it (IMHO). 13.0% alc – 93pts.

Felton Road – Calvert – Pinot Noir – 2022. Oh wow. This is the bees’ knees. Fresh and bright, but with a core of ripe fruit that is most attractive. The mouthfeel, length and persistence are features, and are supported by a wonderful amalgam of ripe fruit, fine oak and skilful winemaking. Ready to go now, or over the next five years. 14.0% alc, 95+pts.

Nanny Goat – Super Nanny – Pinot Noir – 2020. Whilst there is a degree of prettiness to the fruit, this is a structured, cellar-worthy style. It is restrained, taut and refined, but it is only hinting at potential right now. The dark cherry fruit is admirably supported by well handled oak. 13.5% alc. – 95pts – $100.

Ata Rangi – Masters – Pinot Noir – 2020. There is a degree of wow here, but it is not in your face. Rather, it is a wine that demands quiet contemplation to appreciate the subtle, supple high quality fruit. The finish is fine and elegant, supported by gentle oak and feathery tannins with distinct minerality on the close. With air, this blossoms, A wonderful wine and my pick of the 2020 releases from Ata Rangi. 13.5% alc. – 96pts – $170.