Stoney Rise, Shadowfax, Punt Road, Onannon & Stefano Lubiana
We know how important – and tricky – it is for you to track down a classy, complex and complete go-to Pinot Noir.
That’s why we’ve searched high and low for you. Well that’s not quite true; we searched high altitude and latitude – after all, it’s coolness you’re after – but essentially we didn’t have to stray far from home, since Victoria and Tassie are where all the action is.
New releases from 2020 – plus the newly rolled 2019 from Onannon – make up this neat quintet from five different regions offering high quality and pinosity aplenty at modest prices.
2020 Punt Road Pinot Noir Yarra Valley, Victoria $32
Single-site wine from Punt Road’s Napoleone Vineyard. This 2020 Punt Road Pinot Noir shows the Punt Road style in fine form. About 15% whole bunches in the ferment. It’s perfumed with bright fruit, silky mouthfeel and a lick of bitter chocolate tannin to finish. This wine has more concentration than the famed 2017 edition, which is its closest relative. – Tim Shand, Punt Road
2020 Stoney Rise Pinot Noir Tamar Valley, Tasmania $35
This 2020 wine from Joe and Lou Holyman in the Tamar Valley comprises 90% estate-grown fruit with 10% Pinot Noir grapes from the vineyards of grower friends. 15% of the blend is old-vine fruit from unirrigated, 34-year-old plantings. The wine is matured in French oak (just 5% new) and is bottled unfined and unfiltered.
It’s a cool, compact Pinot Noir with much more to it than meets the eye. It begins with a pretty, pale ruby hue and rose-petal, cranberry and sour cherry perfume. Red berries and cherries arrive on a buoyant, tangy palate with just enough sweetness to go with earthy spice and a Campari edge. Firm, suede-textured tannins and lively acidity lend structure to the vibrant, mouthwatering finish. – Ed Merrison, CellarHand
2020 Shadowfax Macedon Ranges Pinot Noir Macedon Ranges, Victoria $36
Fruit for the 2020 Macedon Ranges Pinot Noir was grown on the Little Hampton, Midhill, Big Shed, Straws Lane and Chanters Ridge vineyards in the Macedon Ranges. A late and wet spring set small crops. A cool summer and mild spring led to a very long growing season. The high-elevation sites in the Macedon Ranges led to extra cool nights, helping to retain natural acidity in the grapes, which ripened late in the season with full flavour and phenolic ripeness.
Bunches were hand picked in small batches in pristine condition. The fruit was carefully sorted and destemmed with 100% whole berries into small open fermenters. Natural fermentation occurred with daily hand pumpovers and limited plunging to extract fine tannins and flavour. After two weeks on skins the wine was pressed and then racked into new (30%) and used French hogsheads, where it rested and grew. The wine was then blended and filtered prior to bottling in January 2020.
This elegant Macedon Ranges Pinot Noir has brooding spice aromas including cardamom, star anise, sandalwood and citrus blossom. Maraschino cherries and wild berries give lift in the glass, as do hints of tangerine. The wine has intrigue and flair, evolving over time. Blackberries and spice spill onto the palate. This generous Pinot has breadth and expanse, yet shows poise from seams of ripe grape tannins. There’s complexity galore with sandalwood and Campari spice interacting with dark plum fruits. The palate is long and persistent yet light on its feet, bringing you back for more. This is a fine and powerful example of cool-climate, high altitude Macedon Ranges Pinot Noir. – Al Timms, Shadowfax
2019 Onannon Pinot Noir Mornington Peninsula, Victoria $40
Fruit from three vineyards: Balnarring, Red Hill and Shoreham. 10% whole bunches, no new oak. Unfined. In 2019 the fruit really sits in the front seat. It’s darker than the previous couple of releases, blue moving into black fruits with some cardamom/star anise spice notes from the bunches. On the palate the fruit really attacks, again led primarily by darker fruits that at the moment seem to swallow the bunch spices. The wine finishes with sour cherry echoes and fine tannins. – Will Byron, Onannon
2020 Stefano Lubiana Primavera Pinot Noir Derwent Valley, Tasmania $45
Our 100% Biodynamic, estate-grown Primavera Pinot Noir is mostly wild fermented, de-stemmed and taken off skins early to retain lots of fruit flavour. The grapes are hand picked, hand sorted and fermented with own yeasts and some whole bunches. Basket pressed after about three weeks. Our Primavera is made to be approachable, with silky tannins, soft acidity and great generosity of fruit flavour. A beautiful soft red wine with natural medium body that has great drinkability and represents great value for money. – Steve & Monique Lubiana