2014 Stoney Rise Pinot Noir

Producing good Pinot Noir seems to need the close attention only a dedicated, hands on producer can provide. In this case, naked bodies immersed as well according to reports. Still a good bright red colour for an Aussie Pinot, fragrant with tart berries, rose oil, wild strawberry and that sort of incense like mystery that does nothing to stop the obvious comparison to things from the Côte d’Or. There really is a flavour ripeness you don’t often see in Australian Pinot, energy, focus and poised between the herby and the brown sugar sweet. Mouthwatering acidity and a lick of iron filing tannin. Spotlessly clean too, as you’d hope the pigeage was too! Must be a good place to grow Pinot.

13% alcohol. Screw cap. $30.

94 points.

2009 Stefano Lubiana Grande Vintage

After months of sensible pandemic restrictions, the joy of being allowed to cook dinner for a dear neighbour was doubled when they turned up on the doorstep with such luxurious bubbles. Something like 70% Chardonnay, the rest Pinot Noir left on lees for nine years before disgorging and goodness, some impact and power. Starts a bit reductive and green but with the dense bubbles tickling the nose, there’s a richness of spice, caramel, butter pastry, crystalline citrus, barley sugar and aniseed. Lingers with a deep flavour of ripe Chardonnay and still fresh chalky acidity. Not exactly subtle but a powerfully balanced mouthful. Splendid Australian sparkling wine of its own merit. What a great way to celebrate our lockdown patience and true neighbourliness.

12.5% alcohol. Diam. Thanks.

94 points.

2017 Blackstone Paddock Limited Release Pinot Noir

If you google map Blackstone Paddock, the closest you get is a suburb in Launceston Tasmania called Blackstone Heights. Marketers do love to invent hills, gullies and now paddocks. The back label reveals more, a blend of grapes from Pipers River, sort of near Blackstone Heights, and from Coal River, down south near Hobart. Whatever the source, it’s a convincing effort for well under $20. Smells of Pinot Noir, thus strawberries, cherries, wet green undergrowth, rhubarb and a sprinkle of oak spice. Nicely light to medium weight, not trying too much. The only reservation on day one was a lifted waft of something like feline Sauvignon Blanc, some mint, pine needles and a note of sour green acidity jarring against the warm red fruit. Some over and under ripeness in the blend? Happily, after a day left to compose itself, the blended parts got a lot more comfortable in each others’ company and the acid softened. In fact it carried the flavours to a nice fresh end, tickled by a titchy bit of tannin. Bit cobbled together maybe but it avoids being overwrought, unlike this review.

13.5% alcohol. Screwcap. $15.95 I think from those oddly arranged Aldi shelves.

89 points, sort of 87 first day, 90 second, rounding up the average.

2018 Stoney Rise Pinot Noir

A favourite Tasmanian Pinot producer who seems to get proper flavour ripeness whilst keeping a good freshness. This one does just that with poached strawberries, cherries and a bit of aniseed. A terrific tug of cool acid and fine tannin gives the end a succulence trimmed by that stone like character that seems to be both flavour and texture. It seems to avoid those mint and pine needle flavours of under ripeness and the dark over extraction of the too ambitious. The label provides some good advice about accompanying things, including hare, doo wop, and lovers. Cheers.

12.5% alcohol. Screwcap. $29.

93 points.

2018 Tasmanian Riesling, a Murphy’s cleanskin

Gently fragrant with subtle peach and stony fruit. Satisfyingly chalky and dry in the mouth. Not sure if it’s just the acid or if there’s a bit of skin contact texture that provides the attractive pucker and that’s probably a sign of good balance. It does lack some fruit power and for some will be a bit too dilute. Perhaps gained a bit of depth as it opened and held up to some Sashimi with aplomb. Bargain. Thanks, David, at Dan’s Alphington for the enthusiastic advice. Good pick!

12.50% alcohol. Screwcap. $10.90!

90 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