To be honest, my perception of Australian Pinot Noir wasn’t the best. I didn’t know much about Australian Pinot and hadn’t heard many good things about it either. That all changed when I met Mark Davidson (pictured above).
Mid-morning on a Friday a couple months ago, a guy with a thick, Australian accent called up Portalis, introduced himself as Mark Davidson (Market Development Manager, Wine Australia USA), in Seattle from his current home base in Vancouver, and asked me if I would like to taste some “good” Australian Pinot Noir. I normally don’t taste on Fridays but I was quite curious. In he came with 14 different bottles of Australian Pinot (at varying price points), and almost all of them were pretty darn good. Mark had to catch a flight and left me with a mountain of wine. No complaints here. To make sure I was not hallucinating, I tasted some of these wines with some lucky customers who happened to be shopping for wine later in the afternoon. The response was great. We have featured several of these wines in our Portalis Wine Club, the Father’s Day Tasting next Sunday will be an opportunity to taste 4 of these wines, and the Cooralook is currently available by the glass at the wine bar.
Here is a little information about Australian Pinot Noir: Only 2.5% of the wine production in Australia is Pinot Noir. The main Pinot growing areas are Tasmania and the relatively cool Victorian regions (around Melbourne) of the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula and Geelong. The Macedon Ranges wine region is still one of the best Pinot producing areas in the country and is home to the two famous producers Bindi & Curly Flat (both very limited!). And here’s a little more info on each individual wine:
Cooralook 2009 Pinot Noir
$16.99 | Case $13.60
From the Strathbogie Ranges in Victoria. One of the best Pinot’s for the money. Tasting notes: Very attractive nose with herbal cherry and red berry notes. Good concentration & balance, with elegant flavors of spicy raspberry & cherry fruit with herbal components. Beautiful, tasty finish. Drink now.
Stonier 2005 Pinot Noir
REG $28.99 | Sale $22.99 | Case $18.39
From the Mornington Peninsula, a stunning producer (and still family-owned). Established in 1978 this is one of the oldest wineries on the Peninsula. The first Pinot Noir vines were planted in 1982.
Tasting notes: Wonderful aromas of strawberries & raspberries with some herbal components. Elegant, complex, with great acidity. Spicy, herbal, with some earthy richness and flavors of raspberries & cherries. Long finish with fine tannins. Well aged! Drink now.
Yabby Lake Vineyard 2006 Pinot Noir
REG $57.99 | Sale $52.99 | Case $42.39
This winery was founded in 1992 & is located in the Mornington Peninsula. Tasting notes: Intense aromas of black cherries & dark fruit. Lots going on here. Intense silky texture with great depth. Wonderful layers of dark fruit with some herbal & gamey elements. Long, persistent finish. This wine will age well. Drink now up to 10 years. All these wines match well with grilled salmon & tuna or roasted chicken would be great too.
Enjoy & cheers!
Jens (Owner, Portalis Wines)