No standstill as three 2020s flow from Tim Shand & the team
Punt Road. If there’s one thing the Melbourne thoroughfare is famed for, it’s a standstill. Its namesake winery in the Yarra Valley could never be accused of such a thing. Not only is winemaker Tim Shand one of the most restlessly dynamic thinkers out there – his wares don’t have a habit of hanging around either. Turns out that delicious, well-priced wines have a way of becoming popular.
So it is that, long before the last days of spring arrive, we roll onto three 2020s: Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. As befits the weirdest year of our lives, it was a pretty bizarre harvest. But Tim was always excited about the fruit, and now we see why. Here’s a Pinot Gris with presence, flow and crunch; a Chardonnay with good stuffing and keen drive; and one of the best Pinot Noir wines ever to come off the Napoleone Vineyard.
The 2020 presents a slightly different fruit spectrum from usual at Punt Road: there’s lime juice and also apricot. It’s a bit Rhône-ish. Maybe the light crop has led to more uniform and embellished ripeness.
That carries on to the palate. While fresh, it’s richer than normal. There’s a nice wild-ferment pong, as well as the texture that comes from that. We moved from hogsheads to old puncheons this year to try to retain more freshness in the barrel component. The wine has a delicate balance between phenolics and soft acidity, and it feels very expressive, transparent. Effortless almost. – Tim Shand, Punt Road
2020 will be a great Yarra Chardonnay year, due to those cold nights and the high natural acidity they encouraged. This wine is closer in profile to the 2018 than 2019; a touch more serious. The wine has excellent acidity, but still manages to be ready to go. It has a relatively serious nose with a touch of flint, hazelnut oak, vanilla, jasmine – then a friendly palate. All the stuffing – some oak, natural fermentation, malolactic conversion, phenolic bite. – Tim Shand, Punt Road
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 red-berry and cherry fruit, silky mouthfeel and a lick of bitter chocolate tannin to finish. This wine has more concentration than the 2017, which is its closest sibling. – Tim Shand, Punt Road