By Fergal Gleeson*
Scotchman’s Hill Norfolk Vineyard Bellarine Peninsula
Pinot Noir 2008
Melbourne is a city of boundless creativity. When they are not opening small bars next to dumpsters and fire escapes, they are roasting small batch coffee beans or pushing giant balls of wool around the city for touristic purposes. For wine lovers the vineyards of Victoria are an adult’s playground. The state is a patchwork of wine regions offering a wide variety of climate and wine styles.
Victoria can make a claim to be Australia’s greatest wine state! Really? Think about it. It’s pre-eminence for Pinot Noir in Australia is indisputable. It’s there or thereabouts on Chardonnay. Victoria’s cool climate, peppery Shiraz is on fleek (whatever that means). Admittedly Margaret River would get the nod on Cabernet though the Yarra Valley offers some fine individual examples to match. Italian emigrants to the King Valley such as Pizzini have led the development of Italian varietals such as Sangiovese and Nebbiolo in Australia. QED?
If you had to pick only one varietal from Victoria you’d pick Pinot Noir. A good place to vouch stamp that fact is by trying a wine from one of the early developers of Pinot in Australia Scotchman’s Hill. The winery is located in the Bellarine Peninsula across the bay from Melbourne. Who is the “Scottish man” of Scotchman’s Hill? A famous early settler from Caledonia or a local who loves Chivas and Laphroaig? Don’t know but Scotchman’s Hill is a Halliday Top 100 Winery and have been making Pinot since the 1982.
Wine reviews often include long lists of fruit and vegetable descriptors which can be tedious but if you insist… This is a clean and elegant, mid weight wine with some dark cherry and mushroom flavours. Good Victorian Pinot typically ages well for 8-10 years and the brown tinges around the glass and the aforementioned ‘shrooms tell that this Pinot is at the end of its natural life. The fruit and tannin have integrated fully with age but the wine still maintains fresh tangy acid flavours. Much like human beings a wine’s fruitiness subsides with age! Good wines acquired what are referred to as tertiary characteristics instead.
Scotchman’s Hill Norfolk Vineyard is a rather fancy single vineyard wine but Victoria produces a wide range of good pinots in the $20-30 range. Spring may finally have sprung so have a glass of Pinot young or old made on the doorstep of arty, crafty, “more European”, AFL loving Melbourne.
Rating: 4/5. RRP $55. For more Wine Reviews read and follow www.greatwineblog.wordpress.com Drink and be merry!
*Finalist New Wine Writer of the Year 2016- WCA Gourmet Traveller WINE