On Tuesday evening in the cellar at Jervois Road, we tasted 8 different Pinot Noirs from around the world including New Zealand, Australia and France.
The first of our two Australian wines for the evening were 2015 Bay of Fires from two small southern sub regions of Tasmania, Derwin river Valley and Coal River Valley. Tasmania’s cool climate produces Pinot Noir with a fresh herbaceous note that compliments the ripe berry and subtle spice characters. The second Australian wine for the evening was the 2011 William Downie Pinot Noir from the Yarra Valley in Victoria. A light and elegant expression that has aged seamlessly with fine acids and integrated tannins.
We had four wines from New Zealand, Starting with 2015 Millton Clos de ste Anne from Gisborne. Millton are one of the pioneering estates of organic, biodynamic and natural wines in New Zealand. Coming from a steep hillside site overlooking Poverty Bay, this wine is fine and elegant, with herbaceous and wild flower notes to compliment the fine minerality. The next wine was 2017 Escarpment Noir, a modern approach from a traditional Martinborough producer. This wine has been produced in Clay Amphora on skins for 270 days. Bottled without fining or filtration and no additional sulfur dioxide, this wine is a very pure expression of the savoury style of Martinborough Pinot Noir.
With Central Otago producing some of the highest quality Pinot Noir in New Zealand we looked at two different expressions. 2016 Matt Connell Rendition, an expression of Pinot Noir from the two sub regions of Lowburn and Bendigo, widely considered the new world wine of the tasting, this wine is well balanced and has the “delicious” factor, bright fruit, subtle spice and fresh violet flowers, this wine is a fantastic wine that is ready to drink but will get better with a short term stint in a cellar. To compare a blended wine to a single vineyard wine, we tasted the 2015 Valli Gibbston Valley. The Gibbston Valley is a very cool region of Central Otago that gives the grapes a long time to ripen (these grapes are usually harvested in May) producing a wine of great depth and structure.
To finish off we tasted wines from the home of Pinot Noir, Burgundy. Widely accepted as the wine of the tasting, 2009 Alex Gambal Chambolle Musigny was an amazing expression of elegant and balanced Pinot Noir produced by a modern producer. Well balanced with soft red fruits, subtle spice and fine acids, this wine easily stood out from the rest. Our final wine for the evening was 2007 Nicolas Potel Les Valozieres Premier Cru. A more robust style of wine from a challenging vintage. Rustic in style with more tannin and body than the previous Pinot Noirs, an earthy style wine that definitely needs some time to breath to show its best.