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Pinot Meunier has an interesting history in Dr. Ray Nadeson’s part of the world. Though made famous in Champagne, Pinot Meunier (known locally as Miller’s Burgundy in Geelong and the Grampians) was used to make red table wines as far back as the mid-1800’s, long before its genetic ancestor, Pinot Noir, became the powerhouse of popularity it is today.
As with all Lethbridge wines, Ray’s take on Pinot Meunier is a minimalistic one. The fruit is destemmed then foot stomped daily for one week. The grapes are then pressed straight to barrel, lees and all, to maintain the natural texture and complexity of the wine.
The 2014 impressed the pants off Campbell Mattinson. In his 94 point review, Mattinson cries , “Straight out of the blocks, it’s a ripper. Where’s the order form, I need some of this.” After tasting it with Ray, we couldn’t agree more.
This wine is as classy as it is interesting, a pairing that is not easy to find.
What It Tastes Like
“Straight out of the blocks, it’s a ripper. Where’s the order form, I need some of this. Fragrant, polished, classy and full of nut-infused dark cherried fruit. A minerally, smoky, undergrowthy edge adds intrigue. Quality and a point of difference in one.” - Campbell Mattinson
95 points. “Hand-picked, destemmed, 7-day cold soak, wild yeast-fermented in open vats, hand-plunged, pressed straight to French barrels, 9 months maturation. A forthright pinot meunier, with an evocative bouquet, and a palate with potent plum fruit offset by savoury, polished leather, spice and earth nuances. A lot to muse.”
- James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
94 points. “Varietal pinot meunier out of the Geelong region – and produced by one of the region’s stars.
Straight out of the blocks, it’s a ripper. Where’s the order form, I need some of this. Fragrant, polished, classy and full of nut-infused dark cherried fruit. A minerally, smoky, undergrowthy edge adds intrigue. Quality and a point of difference in one.”
- Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
The Grape: Pinot Meunier, pronounced (PEE-no moon-YAY), is a variety of black wine grape typically used in the production of Champagne. Origin: A mutation of Pinot Noir and name derived from the French Meunier and German Müller - both meaning miller) due to the flour-like dusty white down on the underside of its leaves. Red Table Wine: Red wine made from Pinot Meunier is rare, although the grape has had a longer history in Australian wine production than Pinot Noir. In the Grampians and Geelong region of Victoria, Pinot Meunier was known as Miller’s Burgundy and was used to make still red varietal wine in mid 1800s.
Cranberry, cherry and smoke on the nose leading to a palate of red forest fruits and a hint of spice. Enticing and delicious.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
About the Producer
Lethbridge is living proof that those pie-in-the-sky ideas you have with friends over a glass of wine can come true (if you are as talented and hard working as Ray Nadeson, Maree Collis and Adrian Thomas). This operation is considered one of the leading lights in the ‘natural wine’ movement, being founded on the idea that great fruit should speak for itself. The vineyards are grown with an organic philosophy and as little as possible is added to the wines through the winemaking process. The wines have a certain style to them, but most of all, the song of Geelong sings through the whole range. They are fascinating and delicious all at once.
This Victorian region rocks some very serious wines. Pinot Noir from this area, depending on who you talk too, is arguably the best in the country. Phenomenal output for the size of it. The wines from this area are idiosyncratic and have an earthy, sensual quality. Burgundian varieties, Syrah, hell, even Pinot Gris does exceptionally well here. To be honest, it’s very hard to go wrong when buying from Geelong.
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