It’s impossible to discuss this wine without, in the first instance, referring to its packaging. It comes in a rather heavy Burgundy bottle that seems oversized even as oversized Burgundy bottles go. Imprinted on the the very dark label are artily photographed people in various states of nakedness, lounging over one another and generally behaving as if they’ve already had a generous dose of the bottle’s contents. There’s a little poem to get one in the Pinot mood, too. I’m all for creativity in packaging, but I admit I had trouble finding information about the producer and the wine itself on the label. Perhaps I’m missing the point.
Really bright red colour, quite pretty. Initially, a strong whiff of fine vanilla oak. My intial disappointment subsided as the wine developed clean, simple Pinot fruit aromas over the course of a couple of hours. It’s no powerhouse. Rather, it’s subtle, not especially striking, though certainly varietal, showing a kinship with the Central Otago flavour profile I’ve observed in some other Tasmanian Pinots. There’s also a nice amount of stinkiness that adds some interest.
In the mouth, some herb and spice to accompany the light fruit flavours. A fleeting, nimble palate that shows definite oak influence (vanilla/caramel in character) alongside the fruit. It all seems to be in balance, though again on the light side in terms of body and intensity. Quite a clean, lively mouthfeel, with enough acidity to create sourness and some texture. It’s all moderately distinctive while it lasts. There’s a hollowing out on the after palate, and the finish is quite long but also feels insubstantial. Chalky tannins, quite abundant, create dryness on the finish.
There’s no denying this is a lot of product for the money. It’s also an identifiably varietal Pinot Noir for under $A20, which until recently was a hard thing to find. Despite all this, I felt disappointed with the wine’s simplicity and lack of palate depth. What’s there is tasty and clean, but drinking it is like having a conversation with someone who is standing a hundred metres away — after a while, you tire of straining to hear, and simply stop listening.
Date tasted: October 2008