Ocean Eight Aylward Pinot Noir 2010

When attending a residential school for the course I’m doing, many wines are inevitably dragged out for tasting, some more interesting than others. Last night, they ranged from blandly commercial to full-throttle odd. This Pinot was the undoubted highlight of the evening’s selection, so I will write it up in full, noting that it’s not yet released and in fact has only been bottled for a month.

Cloudy in appearance, this is immediately savoury and dark on the nose, with stalk, edges of oak, bubblegum and marzipan, pinosity leaking from every pore. It’s complex and moody, and what I like most is the way the aroma profile draws you in despite what are some challenging and offbeat aroma components.

The palate is all over the place, which is understandable, but shows the hallmarks of a wine that will sing with time: power, intensity, drive and, most of all, length. The flavours balance a swell of sweet red berry fruit with a range of more savoury fruit notes and vegetal influences. It’s a very textural wine, partly due to some short-term CO2 and more interestingly through a good deal of acid, a big whack of slightly green tannins on the middle palate (stalk?) and a decent layer of puckery sweet fruit tannins on the finish. There’s minerality here too, just one of the many flavour components this wine throws into the mix.

This is exactly what I look for in Mornington Pinot — a broody, structured wine whose fruit shows an inherent complexity of flavour, and whose winemaking isn’t afraid to push the boundaries. Look out for this one.

Update: check out Andrew’s review over at the Australian Wine Review.

Ocean Eight
Price: $NA
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Other

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