St Mary’s make some very good cabernet and shiraz, as is witnessed by my previous reviews. This wine’s a pinot noir from the same terroir. Now, you don’t see a lot of pinot noir in Coonawarra. That the two might go together is not as non-sequitur as it might seem looking at the statistics. For example, Coonawarra has a mean January temperature of 19.9, Gladstones E degree days of 1379 and sunshine hours per day of 7.5, which is thereabouts to the lower Yarra Valley, whose stats are MJT 19.4, Eo 1463 and SH 7.4, but with a bit more altitude and a lot more rain. In the glass though, this wine is pleasant, regional, but is not varietal. It has aromatics of eucalyptus, spearmint and cedar. The palate is similar, balanced but again not immediately pinot noir. What’s really interesting is just how much the substantial and unique Coonawarra terroir shines through, even through the lens of a different grape variety. The Burgundians, who in my experience repeated the phrase “it is not about the grapes, it is their ability to communicate this place, this terroir” every fourteen seconds or so, would be proud.
Abv: 14%, Price: $35, Source: sample, Vendors and website: http://stmaryswines.com, Tasted: 2015