Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mornington Pinot Noir Tasting – Oak Barrel

A couple of weeks back, Brown and I went to a Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir tasting at the Oak Barrel, a bottle shop in downtown Sydney. It was a very well organised and informative event, and most importantly the wines were superb. The tasting was organised into sub-regional flights of Red Hill, Merricks, and then Tuerong, before finishing off with some premium single vineyard wines. While most of the Pinots were distinctly from the Mornington Peninsula, they provided a great exploration of the sub-regions and the effects of different micro climates and terroir on the Pinot Noir grape. Each sub-region was discernibly different to the other, going from the lighter Red Hill wines through to the more powerful pinots of Merricks and Tuerong. Added to this, the wines within each subregion had their own unique aroma and taste. The highlights of the night were:

2008 Ten Minutes by Tractor 10x Pinot Noir - $38 - a lovely cherry bouquet with some gamey, meaty aromas. A long wine of complexity with spice and fine chewy tannins

2007 Paradigm L’ami sage Pinot Noir - $60 - a fragrant varietal nose that on the palate was tasty, savoury, tannic and chewy. Great drop.

2008 Port Phillip Estate Pinot Noir - $35 - this wine was part of our New Zealand vs Australia Pinot Noir Face-Off and showed up well again on the night - http://redtobrownwinereview.blogspot.com/2010/02/pinot-noir-face-off-2008-port-phillip.html

2008 Kooyong Massale Pinot Noir - $31 - very nice savoury nose. A beautifully balanced palate of savoury flavours, a bit of pleasant stalky bitterness, drying tannins, and good length.

2006 The Cups Estate Mornington Peninsula - $31 - this had one of the most beautiful, interesting bouquets with a hint of truffle which I loved. On the palate there was lovely fruit and really enjoyable, complex spice flavours.

2006 Stonier Windmill Vineyard Pinot Noir - $60 - the left field wine of the night, and indeed the wine of the night. It was the lightest coloured pinot of the tasting, though did not lack for any flavour whatsoever. A gentle varietal nose, with a flavour profile on the palate that really shone. It had wonderful structure and length, with intense flavours of sour cherry and spice. With the nice acidity and flavour balance, this should age beautifully . . .

The tasting was held in a casual, friendly but informative environment, and the tasting room itself is lovely and fit for purpose (enjoying fine wine). We will make every effort to be at upcoming tastings throughout the year. Thanks to Oak Barrel for a superb evening.

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