Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pinot Noir - New Releases

Having tasted 10 new quality Pinot Noirs yesterday, it is clear to me that something is happening in Pinot-land. The skill in making these tricky wines is clearly improving, but there is also a style change towards lighter and earlier picked wines. The result is very pretty wines, increased elegance, but maybe also less to remember: style over substance?

My top two wines were the 2008 Hurley Garamond, an unknown producer to me from Mornington Peninsula, (94pts.), and the 2008 MacForbes Gruyere (93pts.). Both wines showed strawberry fruit and more intensity and length on the finish than the other wines. Then came the 2008 Waipara Hills Central Otago, which impressed by its balance between primary fruit and secondary flavours (92pts.). This wine is also good value for money.

The 2008 MacForbes Woori Yallock is preferred by the winemaker. It is very light and elegant, with smooth tannins (91pts.). In a similar mould is the raspberry flavoured 2009 Holyman from Tasmania (91pts.).

The 2008 Marchand & Burch Bourgogne tasted much more European with earthy flavours dominating, but had a weak finish (91pts.).

The 2008 Hurley Hommage lacked acidity (90pts.), and the 2009 MacForbes Yarra Valley was just pretty, lacking structure (90pts.).

The weakest wines were the 2009 Ten Minutes By Tractor Ten X, which was very forward tasting (88pts.), and the 2008 Denton View Hill, made by William Downie (88pts.).

Overall, a good line-up. I would have been happy to drink a bottle of most of these wines.

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