2005 Domaine Pierre Amiot et Fils Gevrey Chambertin 1er cru Les Combottes

After this producer’s 2005 Morey St Denis 1er cru being very good but not great, it seemed a good idea to take this along to one of the three good BYO places within walking distance. Friday night noisey conviviality may not be the best place for lengthy wine pondering. Turned out the $20 corkage is a bargain as the wine was better than expected. Not only the food’s deliciously wine friendly but the owners of The Recreation have very acute palates. Half a glass blind and a confident stab at Burgundy was their verdict. OK, they know their stuff! Good Gabriel stems showed off the lovely perfume of really ripe wild strawberries and an earthy, ferrous, sweet charcuterie thing that Burgundy can do so well. Swirling around the mouth showed the same clean fresh fruit, some impeccable oak and silky tannin melded with delicious acidity. Perfect with The Recreation’s duck. Glad there’s two more stashed away.

Great to be able to drink something such good food deserves. Thanks, The Recreation Bistro + Bottle Shop, Queens Parade, North Fitzroy in inner north, dangerously left wing Melbourne.

13.50% alcohol. Cork. Was about $75 pre arrival, direct import.

95 points.

2015 Garden of Earthly Delights Macedon Pinot Noir

The front label is a good piece of artwork but as this platform only seems to allow one image per post, here’s the very informative back label. Spotted this at the local large independent supermarket priced at $18 instead of $45 or thereabouts. In the case of a battling small wine shop, my conscience would prevail, I hope, but this particular supermarket has annoyed us locals with a horrible development application which looks to be the proverbial blot on the landscape. Sort of justified in taking advantage but can only hope whoever does the price stickers doesn’t get into trouble. Enough of shopping ethics and a dodgy self justification, the wine then. Opens very perfumed and inviting with wild strawberries, rose gardens and musky Australian bush scents. Tastes the same but perhaps the pale almost rosé colour alludes to a bit of dilution. Nice to see an attempt to avoid over extraction though. Finishes with nice ripe acidity and feathery tannin. Great for the money, cough.

13.60% alcohol. Screwcap.

92 points.

2005 Domaine Pierre Amiot et Fils Morey St Denis 1er Cru Les Ruchots

2005 was the last..er..great vintage of the century when the promise of Pinot nirvana led to fetishistic credit card bashing. Prices seemed daunting at the time, now they’re just the realm of the very rich. Time to start opening the trophies then! The colour of this is still a deepish red and opens up quickly with clean, almost new world scents of very ripe wild strawberries and deluxe oak. More Burgundian are the scents of sweet earth and a well maintained farmyard. The flavours again suggest strict clean making with pure red fruit and spice that sit well in the middle but don’t quite have that drive and finish of the best despite some more typically old world fine acid and emery board tannin. There’s that luxury oak too which is almost a sort of terroir thing for Burgundians. Close to great forests and barrel makers, they’re probably the best exponents of adding oak flavours that just work so well. Pretty rare occurrence for those of us who normally think tree flavours a curse! Lovely, safely made modern Pinot but perhaps not quite the electricity of the best Burgundy.

13.50% alcohol. Cork. Under a hundred once upon a time.

93 points.

2010 Hoddles Creek Pinot Noir

For well over ten years the Hoddles Creek crew have been offering the sort of value that must drive other Yarra Valley producers to mutter. Always without much wine making confection, this is still typically a bit reduced on opening. A good airing via double decanting and a tricky touch of a copper spoon drive off a bit too much sulphide for this delicate palate. Lovely savoury development of the autumnal forest floor type and then some dark cherry, tobacco and sinewy tannin. A good swell of that choc cherry fruit at the end point to the subtle class of the vineyard. Gobsmacking value both literally and figuratively.

13.20% alcohol. Screwcap. $20 on release!

92 authentic points.

2008 Minière Symbiose Champagne

Opened with a blast of fruit, seaside ozone and caramelised yeasty pastries in the background. Deep fruit flavours of icing sugar dusted raspberries for width and crystallised citrus for length. Finishes with deliciously mouthwatering acidity and a gorgeous touch of sweet brown spices. Perhaps that’s the oak? Not sure it’s noticeable if you didn’t know it was there? Really clean and full of impact from the first sip. Just got better as the bottle disappeared. The sort of natural fruit richness that’s starting to make tasty globally warmed Champagne seem a good deal.

12.50% alcohol. Cork. Not sure how much, generous friend indeed.

95 points.

2010 Giant Steps Gladysdale Vineyard Yarra Valley Pinot Noir

After some lacklustre cheapies from the big chain it’s good to spend time with something that looked great at the cellar door. Interesting to see just how the warm glow at the tasting bench fares in the cold light of a much later day. At first this was dusty, with a bit of lanolin reduction. Double decanted and a bit more fruit emerged with fennel and herby stalks pulling it right into line. It took twenty four hours for the sweet, ripe, dark cherry and squashed strawberry to surface above the neatly folded acid and whole bunch tannin. Doesn’t look like it’ll improve any further, it just still needs a lot of air to overcome a shy heart. Now to try and get that Police song about Giant Steps on the moon out of my head.

13% alcohol. Screwcap. $45.

94 shy and retiring points.

2017 Stoney Rise Pinot Noir

Lovely fresh red colour and smells. There’s some genuine tart berry perfume of good flavour ripeness without heaviness or green shrubbery. Only the acidity seems a bit too firm at the finish. Rather that than the higher PH and duller colour of warmer sites. The mid mouth flavour of ripe strawberries and raspberries with real freshness is just so delicious and bright. Cool for sure. Ripe fruit, just, at low alcohol, woohoo…

12% alcohol! Screwcap. $30.

92 points