It may have passed you by… let’s be honest, there is a fair bit going on at the moment… but yesterday was ‘International Pinot Noir Day’. Yes, this is a thing. We’re not sure what it means, because for pinot lovers, it is an obsession, and every day is a day for a good pinot. Though we thought it better reason than any to highlight one of our favourite varieties. Pinot Noir is a beautiful thing, when managed well. It is fickle, it is difficult to grow, even harder to produce, and shows a region, sites or winemakers flaws if they aren’t well suited. This is because of its thin skins, needy and narrow growing conditions and its hunger for low yields. It expresses its origin better than any red variety, and whilst it can disappoint, it can take you to vinous highs that are higher than most.
We will change things up a bit here and offer three pinot noirs from three very important regions across the world. The wines will be available in straight 6-packs, though there is also the option for a mixed pack of the three. The regions are;
- Burgundy, France – the birthplace of pinot noir, with centuries of experience harking back to Cistercian monks farming the land and plotting and ranking vineyard sites whose tiered levels of quality are still adhered to today.
- Yarra Valley, Victoria – a region with a long history of winegrowing, but more seriously with intelligent planting and farming of Pinot Noir that explores the higher and cooler vineyard land.
- Central Otago, New Zealand – New Zealand’s Pinot Noir gift to the world, and while the history is short, the quality has been consistently high. The region sits just outside of Queenstown, is incredibly beautiful, cool and dry. A perfect combination of elements required to produce quality Pinot.
The Wanderer Pinot Noir 2018, Yarra Valley
We could have picked many Pinot’s from our own backyard, and we have offered some of our favourites over the past 12 months. Here we wanted to show something that screams quality and value and have chosen the small production Wanderer wine from the Upper Yarra from the 2018 vintage.
The Wanderer is a side label by Andrew Marks, whose full-time gig is managing and winemaking at his parents Gembrook Hill winery, and whose other side juggle/ hustle is his own Melbourne Gin Company. Andrew is a thoughtful, intelligent and honest winemaker with a long history in the cooler part of Yarra Valley, affectionately known as the Upper Yarra. It is Upper because it creeps up in elevation and provides some cooler sites.
This is another Pinot Noir that is crushed, fermented naturally and aged in old
slipperiness on the palate, a savoury earth influence and layers of flavour that defy its modest price point. 93 points from the Wine Front echoes the value. We’d enjoy this wine over the next three years.