Mature Pinot Noir from Round The World
It is several years since I put on a Pinot Noir tasting, and on that occasion there was such demand that I had to repeat it! The past decade has seen increasingly good Pinots come from the New World, and in Europe from Germany in particular. The four origins here represent some of the best sources of fine Pinot outside Burgundy: Oregon, USA; Victoria, and now Tasmania, in Australia; Central Otago in New Zealand, and southern Germany. In terms of style, what matters for me most where Pinot is concerned is that the wines, wherever they are from, should have the transparency of colour, the sweetness of flavour, and the silkiness of texture that express the best of this demanding grape variety. And from the point of view of quality they should represent fair value for money when compared with Burgundy's quality hierarchy: Generic, Village, Premier Cru, Grand Cru. None of the latter on this occasion, I'm afraid, but a good quality spread across the Village and Premier Cru categories.
At top Village quality level are the Lemelson Six Vineyards, Ten Minutes by Tractor Estate, and Felton Road Bannockburn; and straddling the Premier Cru quality calibration are J Christopher Pavillon, Tolpuddle, Mount Difficulty Long Gully, and Ziereisen Jaspis Alte Reben (old vines). It is relatively unusual to encounter mature examples of these wines, so it nice to have one wine in each pair with at least seven years of bottle age, so developing attractive secondary and tertiary characters. And there is, to finish up with, the 2002 Pousse d'Or Premier Cru Volnay as a fine, mature benchmark, from a delicious red Burgundy vintage.
2013 Lemelson Six Vineyards PN; Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA
2009 J Christopher Pavillon Vineyard PN; Dundee Hills, Oregon, USA
2009 Ten Minutes by Tractor Estate PN; Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
2013 Tolpuddle Pinot Noir; Tasmania, Australia
2009 Felton Road Bannockburn PN; Central Otago, New Zealand
2009 Mount Difficulty Long Gully PN; Central Otago, New Zealand
2008 Ziereisen Jaspis Alte Reben PN; Baden, Germany
2002 Volnay 1er Cru Clos des 60 Ouvrées (Pousse d'Or)
8 Wines, with Cheeses ..... £95