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Wine Reviews

Valli Gibston Vineyard Pinot Noir Central Otago 2017

This is a very good Central Otago pinot noir from Valli’s Gibbstone vineyard and the 2017 vintage.  It has restrained blackcurrant, dark cherry and undergrowth aromas, with Burgundian echoes.  The palate has medium tannins, high acid, medium length and a full body, and a dried herb character.  Ready to drink now.  Rating: Good to Very Good.  Website: https://valliwine.com; wine-searcher.com.  Reviewed: July 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Peay Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2017

I am seeing a few more North American wines make their way to Australia.  From the Sonoma Coast in California, this pinot noir has aromas of spice and red cherries.  It is not a Burgundian style, but more in the style of high quality fuller bodied pinot noir from the Yarra Valley.  The palate is between medium and full bodied, with some tannins evident and a lingering acidity on its medium length finish.  This is a lovely wine that suits current drinking.  Rating: Good.  Website: https://www.peayvineyards.com; wine-searcher.com.  Reviewed: July 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Domaine de Bellene Côte de Nuits Villages 2018

Domaine de Bellene’s Côte de Nuits Villages from the 2018 vintage is a lovely wine. It opens to attractive and fragrant aromas of spice and blackcurrant, with an end note of smoke and cedar. It can only be Burgundy. The palate is medium bodied and more workmanlike with characters akin to red currants. This attractive wine is approachable now. Rating: Good to Very Good. Website: http://domainedebellene.com/. Reviewed: July 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Terre à Terre Piccadilly Rosé 2019

This rosé from Terre à Terre is a blend of pinot noir (70%) and chardonnay (30%) and from the Piccadilly sub region of the Adelaide Hills (above 500m altitude). It’s a well constructed rosé.  It opens to aromas of strawberry and smoke.  The palate is dry, with an expression of light spices, a full body and harmonious balance.  Ready to drink now.   Rating: Good. Website: https://terreaterre.com.au/. Source: sample. Reviewed: June 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Clyde Park Pinot Noir Geelong 2018

I recently reviewed Clyde Park’s single vineyard Block D pinot noir here. This is Clyde Park’s pinot noir blend from Bannockburn in the Geelong region. In the glass, it is lightly coloured, full bodied, with light spice and cherry flavours and fresh acidity.  Overall, this is a restrained pinot noir that provides for enjoyable current drinking.  Rating: Good. Website: https://clydepark.com.au. Source: sample. Reviewed: June 2020.

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Escarpment Pinot Noir Martinborough 2017

This is a pleasant pinot noir from Escarpment in Martinborough, New Zealand. It has a subtle aroma of spice, rosemary and green stalks. On the palate, the fruit is ripe and youthful with a gentle petulance at times and the tannins are low to medium and finely knit. The oak is very well integrated (25% new, 11 months) showing only subtly on the finish, which was more medium than long. The fruit character is New Zealand rather than Burgundy. Ready to drink now. Rating: Good. Website: http://escarpment.co.nz. Reviewed: July 2020.

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Hannes Reeh Burgenland Pinot Noir 2015

This charming pinot noir from Burgenland in Austria has an extravagant, gorgeous fragrance that can only be pinot noir, reminding of autumn leaves and cherry. The palate is medium to full bodied, savoury and has attractive length. The wine returns to earth with its modest structure and complexity, which is consistent with an earlier drinking wine style. The wine is somewhat more modest after time in the glass, supporting the view that this is a charming wine that is best consumedin its youth. Ready to drink now. Rating: Good. Abv: not recorded. Price: $20s. Website: https://hannesreeh.at. Reviewed: June 2020.

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Clyde Park Single Block D Pinot Noir Bannockburn 2018

Geelong is a successful region for pinot noir and, at its best, can achieve an interesting and complex restrained, savoury and sinewy expression of pinot.  Within the Geelong wine region Bannockburn is pretty yet understated and somewhat out of the way, situated on the road between Geelong and Ballarat rather than the touristed Bellarine Peninsula.  It has some of Geelong’s finest terroir for pinot noir.  I say all this because this particular single vineyard wine from Clyde Park in Bannockburn is very good and it is not a surprise.  It has aromas of blood, earth and rhubarb.  The palate has great length and a balanced, refined expression of pinot noir.  This refined pinot noir will suit current drinking and also a few years in the cellar.  Rating: Very Good.  Abv: 13.0.  Price: $75. Website: https://clydepark.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: June 2020.

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Punch Lance’s Vineyard Close Planted Pinot Noir 2015

From Punch Lance’s Vineyard in the Yarra Valley, and a producer I haven’t previously come across, this is a very good pinot noir.  There’s actually not much of it – only 1,300 bottles were produced.  It has aromas of cedar and rhubarb.   Its long length and considerable fruit intensity provide enjoyment, and while the new oak is prominent, it is balanced in the context of the fruit.  Light, fine tannins and a medium body complete the picture.  Ready to drink now.  Rating: Good to Very Good.  Abv: NA. Price: $90. Website: https://punchwine.vendecommerce.com. Reviewed: May 2020.

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Mas d’Espanet Pinot Noir 2016

This is a good quality pinot noir from an unlikely place, namely the warm Languedoc and the Cevennes IGP in particular.  I can’t recall previously seeing this IGP.  I read that it sits in the northern, more mountainous part of the Languedoc, a region that is diverse but more grenache, syrah and carignan country.  In the glass, the wine has correct varietal pinot noir aromas of intense and brooding rhubarb and sweet red berries.  The palate reminds of glace cherry, ripe strawberry and spice and there is medium length on the finish.  This brooding wine is ready to drink now and provides good value drinking.  Rating: Good.  Abv: NA. Price: $34. Website: NA. Reviewed: May 2020.