I feel truly ungrateful. A few days ago, this bottle was purchased for the very reasonable sum of $A16.15 at my local Dan Murphy. In the scheme of things, that’s not a lot to pay for a bottle of wine, let alone a bottle of Australian Pinot, a sub-species that, until recently, was difficult to obtain for under $A25 or so. And, to jump to the end, this is a very sound wine, tasty and clean, with confidently expressed varietal character. Hence a niggling sense of ungratefulness as I reflect that, as good as this is, there are others in its price range that may be even better. Truly, we are spoiled.
Give this a bit of time in the glass, and firm aromas of spice, plum and a little beetroot, plus some stalkiness perhaps, start wafting aloft. It’s totally varietal and quite elegant, holding back an overt sense of fruitiness in order to express more subtle pleasures. There’s a point to be made here about the chosen style and price point, and one shouldn’t underestimate De Bortoli’s obvious conviction to produce a stylish wine at a price point where many consumers might expect obvious delights.
In the mouth, a textural pleasure with much more tannin than expected and fairly bright acidity too. Structurally, this means business. Flavour takes a little while to build on the tongue, and seems held in check for now by that rather imposing tannin/acid framework. Nonetheless, there’s a clear sense of ripe, plummy fruit on the middle palate, along with more stalk-like influence and a bit of sweetly spiced oak. Medium bodied, the whole seems poised and balanced. If I’ve a criticism, it relates to a lack of intensity that, for me, needs to be at the next level to match the ambitions expressed elsewhere on the palate. A nice, sweetly fruited after palate and quite a long finish to boot.
If given the choice, I would drink a Hoddles Creek
wine in preference to this, the latter being of the same region and variety, and only a couple of bucks extra. By comparison, this wine feels slightly calculated, perhaps too much of a sweet talker. But, frankly, I’d never turn it down if I were offered a glass, because it just tastes so good.