Sunday, June 12, 2011

Some Interesting New Pinot Noirs

A week ago, I tasted four interesting Pinot Noirs. They were all serious and good, but not without flaws.

Two came from Tomboy Hill, in the Bendigo district. This is a new producer to me and it is unusual to see Pinot Noir from this area. The 2008 Tomboy Hill 'Smythes Creek' is a savoury, yet quite elegant Pinot Noir. I liked it, although it lacked a bit of weight (91 points). The more expensive 2009 Tomboy Hill 'Ruby's Picking' has this additional weight and similar characteristics, but it has a disappointing short finish (90 points). 2009 was of course the disastrous fire year in Victoria.

The 2010 Felton Road Bannockburn Pinot Noir (their standard offering) has the typical vibrant cherry fruit. It is not a very big wine and still quite closed. The finish is a little harsh at this stage. This wine will need time (91 points).

Pinot Noirs from Paringa Estate tend to have this huge fruit sensation on the front palate, but I find the 2008 Paringa Estate Pinot Noir better balanced. The dark cherry fruit is well backed by fine tannins and the wine has some length, but it is still a bit of a bomb (90 points).

Pinot Noir has come a long way in our region. You don't find too many terrible offerings any more. Yet to make a brilliant one remains a difficult task.

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