The delicate wines crafted from Pinot Noir are not something we’d associate with our friends from Down Under. Their thirst for wines that are both boldly flavoured and unashamedly fruit-forward seems to hint towards avoidance where Pinot Noir is concerned. However, there are a number of growers and winemakers out there experimenting and the results have been surprising or unsurprising depending on your stance. Old World loyalist or New World Maverick?
My view is that they should not be directly compared with the red wines of Burgundy and should instead stand alone as something unique. Pinots from Oz still deliver plenty of varietal character – sweet red berry fruit and subtle spice. The problem for winemakers here is to achieve balance in the finished wine, key with all wines, but exaggerated when working with Pinot, simply because of its delicate nature.
A wider focus on producing top-quality Pinot Noir in Australia has been ongoing for the last decade and the hard work and dedication is paying off. We’ve teamed up again with Aussie winemaker and Virgin Wines hero Steve Grimley, drawing once more on his ability to craft truly superb wines. When we ask him for a Pinot he explained that there were a number of geographic locations we could select from, but in his opinion, the best value to quality ratio could be achieved working in Victoria.
The marginal nature of the vineyards is exactly what Pinot needs to be truly great. Too much heat and its subtlety is blow away, too little and it’ll be very green. So Victoria could be said to be the spiritual home of Aussie Pinot Noir, since it is on this knife edge.
I’m sure Mr Noir Victorian Pinot Noir 2011 will be the first of many Aussie Pinots to find their way into our wine range and this is a belting start. A wine that is saturated with vibrant black cherry fruit and is both sleek and poised on the palate. Steve was conscious throughout making Mr Noir not to go over the top on fruitiness and to maintain elements, true to the Old World if you like, of elegance and finesse.
I’m really chuffed with how this wine has turned out and highly recommend you give it a go.