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Wine lovers the world over are constantly on the hunt for that elusive creature; affordable, delicious Pinot Noir. It is the unicorn of the wine world. Tim Shand's latest offering in the Airlie Bank range is right on the money. This is picked a little earlier than the 'Big Brother' Punt Road Pinot Noir, harvested precisely when the fruit is showing red fruit and a crunchy, aromatic lift. Remarkably, the 2016 release may be even better value than the much loved 2015. A little more whole bunch (25%) and a even a couple of new barrels in the mix. This is the quintessential 'drink-me-guilt-free' Pinot Noir. It doesn't come around all that often, so jump on it while you can.
What it Tastes Like
Dunno how he does it but this is just fantastic drinking. Fresh red berries, gentle wisps of tannin, a savoury spine running through the core - it's right on the money. Drinking pleasure high for the low asking price. No wonder these guys are making a name as one of the best value wineries in the Yarra. Great stuff.
The wine is a combination of Block 13 Clones 115, 777 and MV6, and Block 12 Clone 777 Pinot. Both blocks planted in 2006. Yields around 4t/acre. 2016 was a warm, dry year and frankly we had our work cut out for us producing the fresh, fragrant “house” style. Baumes were low, around 12, but alcohol magically came up to 12.5%. Sweet! Literally. It is lightly handled in the winery in terms of extraction and oak, and the freshness and delicacy of this product sets it apart from other pinots in a similar price range. So there is more whole bunch this year (25%). Shorter time on skins for all ferments – with maceration focused on cold soak. Wines were pressed at 1 baume, where usually we’d leave them on skins for a few days post ferment. I’ve thrown in a few new barrels (Francois Freres) to give some sweetness to the mid-palate, but otherwise the wine is unoaked.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2022
About the Producer
Punt Road are one of the movers and shakers of the Yarra Valley. With a focus on premium quality and more than reasonable pricing, these guys have amassed a great cult following. Tim Shand is the winemaker and his creativity and skill are the perfect matches for the stunning fruit yielded off the Punt Road Estate in Coldstream Hills.
The Yarra Valley stands tall as one of the country’s finest cool-climate wine regions. Only a short jaunt from Melbourne, the Yarra has become a tourist hot-spot for its stunning scenery, high quality produce, and of course, as the home to some of the country’s most iconic wine producers. From the extraordinarily elegant Cabernets and Syrahs that populate the ‘Valley floor’, to the precise and complex versions of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that hail from the higher climes of the Yarra, this region is diverse and in a state of change. As temperatures rise and phylloxera infiltrates each pocket of the Yarra Valley, the range of alternative varieties from continental Europe is sure to increase to create a more colourful picture of the region. The Yarra embodies so much of what is great about the modern Australian wine scene.
No variety captures the hearts and minds of the wine lover quite like Pinot Noir. It’s the unicorn of many a winemaker. Notoriously fickle to grow, this delicate red variety can deliver a kaleidoscope of flavours and aromas, from the bright and floral to the moody and mysterious and everything in between. The cooler regions of Australia are where Pinot Noir is most at home. Look to Tasmania and Victoria for the best examples, with some quality wines beginning to show from the Great Southern and from the cooler parts of NSW. Falling in love with Pinot Noir can be a life long affair, beware the charms of this most enchanting of grapes.
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