The best sort of birthday present, a bottle of wine chosen with care and stashed away for much later. Five Australian Prime Ministers later. Must admit to a bit of prejudice about Geelong Pinot. Too many blazing hot, north wind days travelling through a dry flat landscape that didn’t exactly bring Burgundy to mind. Perhaps the Bellarine Peninsular gets a bit of air con from Port Philip Bay as this looked as pretty as an Upper Yarra Pinot opened at the same time. Resolved but hanging on well. Clean perfume of very ripe strawberries and darker plums cut with some green herb and some sweet compost development. Same across the tongue with an age softened rasp of just ripe acidity and perhaps some whole bunch tannin. Just a whisper of well handled oak adds the merest touch of sweet vanilla that’s sunk into the fruit with aplomb. From a hot drought ridden year with dreadful bush fires, this is a confounding success. A lot of care and love must have gone into the growing and making. A privilege to enjoy the hard work.
13% alcohol. Screwcap.
Over three evenings this evolved well. The colour deepened and the flavours unfurled. Fine boned and perfumed delicacy to much fuller on day three without oxidising or sacrificing any of its superb structure. Complex in the best sense, there’s some obvious stems and regional minty Aussie bush scents verging on sandalwood. We talk of terroir and Pinot and here the sense of place is well pitched and quietly spoken. Emerging from the depths to control the wine on day two and three, really fine red fruit fills the picture. After twenty four hours perfuming the finish and carrying long on chiseled stoney acidity, stalk tannin and a touch of oak. Perfect for the Pinot tragic with revolving smells, tastes and a fruit driven backbone of supple grace. If you fancy low alcohol, fine structure and perfumed depth in Pinot then here you go. This is going to age too.
12.90% alcohol! Screwcap. $40.
Only the second white post on this odd indulgence of a blog and it’s a tricky one. Despite a long and abiding love of Riesling, it’s always been a swerve toward the dry thanks to the amazing value of some great Australian versions. At lower price points which suit every day drinking sugar can also be used to bolster thin fruit, only increasing prejudice. So what of a premium Riesling from the beautiful Otways that seems to chase all the texture, feathery acid and sugar balance of a serious German? First taste and the fruit’s all citrus and cut apple with a sweet acid tang that provokes the usual dry prejudice. There’s a nice touch of toasty waxy development too. Given an hour or so it did seem to become more of a whole which resisted being broken down into its components. Somehow the fruit, sugar and fine mouthwatering acid all worked together and demanded another delicious sip. Really a good tilt at that Germanic lightness of being. Perfect for hot February nights.
7.40% alcohol. Screwcap. $32 on the Heroes’ website.
93 points if I were pretending to know more about the great Germans.