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Wine Reviews

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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Wine Reviews

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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Wine Reviews

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.

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Wine Reviews

Raen Royal St Robert Sonoma Coast 2016

Sonoma Coast is a large, cool climate viticultural region north of San Francisco.  Few of these wines make their way to Australia.  In the glass, this wine is very obviously pinot noir and, for Australian readers, resembles the Yarra Valley fruity pinot noir style.  It has aromas of cherry and spice.  The body is full and interesting, with medium to high acidity and good length.  This wine has a lovely balance and disappeared quickly.  Ready to drink now.  Rating: Good.  Abv: 13.0.  Price: $100+.  Website: https://www.raenwinery.com.  Reviewed: May 2020. 

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Benjamin Laroche l’Atelier Chorey-Lès-Beaune 2017

This is a restrained and elegant expression of village level Chorey Lès Beaune from Benjamin Laroche.  In the glass, it has a coiled aroma of minerals and cherries.  The palate has medium tannins, notes of refined cedar and an elegant finish.  Enjoyable now, or over the next 5 to 6 years.  Rating: Good. Abv: 13.0.  Price: $80+.  Website: NA.  Reviewed: May 2020.  

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Wine Reviews

Hamilton Russell South Africa Pinot Noir 2018

Hamilton Russell is the paradigm South African pinot noir producer from the cool climate Walker Bay region in South Africa. This wine opens to brooding aromas of earth, cherry, spice and undergrowth. The palate is between medium and full bodied, the acidity is very fresh, and the finish has firm, pleasing tannins. This wine is obviously a benchmark and can be approached now, but will benefit from 4-5 years in the cellar. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 13.5. Price: $80. Website: https://www.hamiltonrussellvineyards.com. Reviewed: April 2020.

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Patricia Green Cellars Pinot Noir Ribbon Ridge Oregon 2017

This is an outstanding pinot noir from the Ribbon Ridge AVA that sits within the Willamette Valley in Oregon. It has definitive firm and restrained aromas of rhubarb, refined cedar and blackcurrant. It is very much in a Côte de Beaune style. The palate is full bodied and offers a very refined expression of pinot noir, with medium but fine tannins, fresh acidity and long length the finish. This outstanding wine can be approached now, or suite medium term cellaring. The reference point here is clearly Burgundy. Rating: Outstanding. Abv: 13. Price: $80. Website: https://www.patriciagreencellars.com. Reviewed: April 2020.

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Wine Reviews

Warramunda Estate Liv Zak Rosé 2018

This is a sound pinot noir rosé from Warramunda Estate in the Yarra Valley. It opens to aromas of spice and red fruits. The palate is between medium and full bodied and the finish dry. Ready to drink. Rating: Good. Abv: NA. Price: $28. Website: warramundaestate.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: February 2020.

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Terre à Terre Pinot Noir Piccadilly Valley 2018

This is a seriously good, and good value, pinot noir from Terre à Terre and the Piccadilly Valley sub region of the Adelaide Hills. It has a restrained aroma of redcurrant, rhubarb, earth and an iron like character. The palate is medium to full bodied and the tannins deliciously firm. This wine can be approached now, but will suit 3 to 7 years in the cellar. Rating: Very Good. Abv: 14.4. Price: $40. Website: terreaterre.com.au. Source: Sample. Reviewed: April 2020.