The Rise & Rise of Aussie and New-World Pinot Noir

The Rise & Rise of Aussie and New-World Pinot Noir

Paige Wieselmann

Once upon a time when it came to red wine in Australia it was all about shiraz, shiraz, shiraz. About 10 years ago this all changed. Australian palates were changing and beginning to lean towards lighter less full bodied and high alcohol reds. Enter Pinot.

There is almost no other grape so celebrated or held with such high regard and its rise to prominence was always bound to happen in Australia. It’s the holy grail of wines for both winemakers and wine lovers alike, with serious pinot lovers describing themselves as “Pinot-philes”. Although we have only started to consume Pinot Noir in large volumes in the last decade the first pinot grapes were brought out to Australia by James Busby in the 1830’s. Starting with the heritage clone labelled as ‘Mother Vine 6’ (MV6) it wasn’t until the 1990’s that new Dijon clones were planted in Australia (114,115 etc).

In Australia and New Zealand, Pinot it is suited to the ‘cooler climates’ and thrives in regions such as; Tasmania, Adelaide Hills, Yarra Valley and Marlborough and Central Otago in New Zealand. It’s notoriously fickle and only shows its best in these cooler temperate locations. The best examples are light-bodied yet intensely aromatic with multi-layered characters and incredible length.
Tasmania, the region that has all pinot lovers excited, is the southern-most wine region in Australia. Its cool climate and soils are perfectly suited to crafting stunning examples of Pinot Noir. The Tamar Valley’s; Moores Hill Pinot Noir 2016 is a fantastic example. It’s a generous wine showing lovely varietal sweet plum, red cherry and savoury notes on the nose. The palate delivers with delicious cherry flavours framed by a spicy oak touch.
The region all the cool kids are talking about at the moment is South Australia’s Adelaide Hills. Arguably the countries home of alternative winemaking it sees examples of lovely aromatic whites and gentle medium bodied reds being produced in a wide array of techniques. Nova Vita’s 2014 Firebird Pinot Noir is a single vineyard estate grown wine made using traditional techniques with a hint of flare. A fair bit of whole bunch and whole berry during fermentation as well as native yeasts sees a wine that soft and rounded. A mixture of spice and aniseed with cherries and forest floor, it’s a super glugable wine through and through.
Victoria’s Yarra Valley is one of the more classic and original regions for Pinot Noir. Considered by many as the Premier Pinot producing region in Australia. Seville Hill Estate has been producing sensational wines since the mid 90’s. John the winemaker is old-school in his approach to winemaking, with all his red wines released with bottle age and under cork. His estate grown fruit produces big wines that have serious cellaring potential. The 2014 Pinot Noir is no exception. Dark cherry in colour with aromas of strawberries and mint transcending to the palate, strawberry and blackberry flavours with touches of spearmint and warm spices follow.
Not to forget our Kiwi’s cousins, New Zealand’s most famous wine region, Marlborough produces many world-famous wines. Widely known for its Savvy B, we shouldn’t forget the quality of Pinot produced in Marlborough. Eradus from the sub-region of the Awatere Valley, make a superb single-vineyard Pinot Noir that very much pays homage to the ‘old-world’ style. Elegant, with cherry notes and liquorice, it’s extremely smooth, deep and fruit driven.

Have Fun, Drink Pinot.


Try our Pinot Noirs here