Red Wine

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir’s mythical home Burgundy has produced some of the world’s most inspiring wines.

The exhilarating personality of Pinot Noir has seen the wine world take up the fickle challenge to grow the ‘heartbreak grape’! Pinot is difficult to grow, demanding low yields if you want to achieve quality, with an incredibly short picking window to get it right, and, unforgiving in the winery.

Where is it grown?

You’ll find it in Germany, Austria, many other regions in France, America, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. Plantings in the New World expanded rapidly from the 1980’s and continue to grow today.
The early plantings are now mature and we’re seeing balanced old vines produce high-quality fruit. Beyond vine maturity, winemakers have now had decades of experience making Pinot and are producing sophisticated wines of ever increase quality. Given the demand and exponential price growth of Burgundy, that’s something we’re thankful for!

In Australia, initial plantings were of two main clones MV6 and D5V12, also known as ‘Upright’ and ‘Droopy’ respectively in reference to their growing habit. MV6 has definitely been the winner of the two! In the late 1990’s, there was n influx of the ‘Dijon clones’ particularly 114, 115, 667, and, 777. You’ll often see these clonal names on wine labels. More recently the Pommard clone, and, Abel, initially smuggled into New Zealand from the vineyards of Romanée-Conti have made it to Australia.

In the early days, you’d see bottles of Pinot + Hermitage coming out of the Hunter. Now, we see the cool climate regions in Victoria: Yarra Valley; Mornington; Macedon; and; Gippsland, South Australia: Adelaide Hills, and, most regions across Tasmania making the most exciting wines.

Martinborough, Marlborough, and, Otago in New Zealand are making some wonderful wines.

What does it taste like?

Like any variety, there is an incredible diversity of flavours, aromas, and, textures to be found in Pinot.

From fresh red fruits to darker, spicier fruit. Earthy, savoury, truffley, perfumed, floral characters are all in the mix. We see aroma, flavour and texture layered in from inclusion of stalks, whole bunches, techniques like carbonic maceration, cold soaking (maceration), oak use and beyond. In their youth, good Burgundies are often tightly wound, and less giving. Plush, supple textures are the hallmark of good Burgundy, although some more robust wines are a pleasure to devour as well. As a generalisation, we’ve seen a shift to a more gentle extraction of tannins and wines that are more approachable by those who have historically made more extracted Pinot in Burgundy. Leroux’s efforts in Pommard and Faiveley’s efforts across the region are good examples.

They often go into a dip for a few years after bottling and emerge transformed. A fully mature top-end Burgundy is entrancing, intoxicating, and, has such incredible expression and personality that you can be happy just smelling it! The secondary development of these wines offers incredible harmony, they become seamless, complexity lifts to a new level, yet it is hard to pick out any individual flavours and aromas. The best manage the trick of having incredible depth of length of flavour yet a light presence, dancing across your palate!

We’re writing a series of posts exploring the villages of Burgundy that you can read in the Wine Bites Mag.

The counterpoint is that Burgundy can be a dismal experience with many wines banking on the name and classification of their vineyard to charge prices they are not worthy of. It can be a minefield if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Equally, there are still some affordable hidden gems!

For many years the new world tried to make great Burgundy instead of great Pinot. With growing experience, confidence, and, balanced, old vine fruit, new world makers are simply making the best possible expressions of Pinot they can from their sites. Broad experimentation is still ongoing as always with wine, but, has slowed a little. Focus on fruit sorting and gentle handling has allowed almost infinite control of the ‘infusion’ of tannins, colour, and, flavour from each berry, as opposed to extraction. Great experience with élévage has resulted in great clarity of how to expose the wines to oxygen and sulphur and achieve more expression from the end wines.

All in all new world wines are competing with Burgundy up to all but the highest level wines, and, with the prices of Burgundy on upward trajectory are great value drinking.

New world wines tend to be more immediately giving and opulent than their Burgundian counterparts. Not as long-lived, they still undergo a transformation as they age, although, perhaps, not to the same degree as the greatest Burgundies.

On top of all of this, climate, change is having a dramatic effect, both in the New and Old World. Vintages are more extreme in Burgundy, picking times are earlier than they were a decade ago, although partly as a result of balanced old vines in the new world.

The best wines will come from the growers and makers who are agile, react and learn from the change.

2019 Clos de Tart

Clos de Tart 1er Cru ‘La Forge de Tart’ 2019

Pinot Noir | Morey-Saint-Denis, France

“This comes from the section known as La Forge, plus a young vine planting from 2011, and “Ballonge 2” where the plant selection could be better – it will be top-grafted shortly. One third whole bunch in the Ballonge component makes about 15% in all. This is a glowing purple colour, without the black. A light reduction on the nose which later shows as toasty barrel. Very complete, sensual, with good unforced acidity, more red fruit than black. Still a certain masculinity. Surprising leng
$760ea in any 3+
$740ea in any 6+

Clos de Tart Grand Cru Monopole MAGNUM 2019

Pinot Noir | Morey-Saint-Denis, France

“70% new wood. Purple black, with a light reduction on the nose, but a massive heart to it. Waves of fruit, red and black fighting it out, incredible intensity through the middle, a very good little touch of acidity at the back. Clos de Tart is never going to be a sensual wine though there is plenty of flesh on the bones. Perfectly judged ripeness here. Probably a bit more than 50% whole bunch has been used overall, but the decision is made for each individual cuvee. I retasted the 2019 having

“A much more floral suffused nose reflects notes of essence of plum, cassis, black raspberry liqueur, herbal tea and discreet wood influence. There is excellent volume and mid-palate density to the sappy, refined and tautly muscular larger-scaled flavors that coat the palate on the lingering and firmer finish that is shaped by relatively fine-grained tannins on the balanced finish where a subtle hint of warmth slowly emerges. This is still very compact and clearly evolving but it should be terrific in time.” Drink 2034+
Allen Meadows – 93-95 Points

“70% new wood. Purple black, with a light reduction on the nose, but a massive heart to it. Waves of fruit, red and black fighting it out, incredible intensity through the middle, a very good little touch of acidity at the back. Clos de Tart is never going to be a sensual wine though there is plenty of flesh on the bones. Perfectly judged ripeness here. Probably a bit more than 50% whole bunch has been used overall, but the decision is made for each individual cuvee. I retasted the 2019 having just tasted the 2018 wines from the estate, which showed the 2019 in a fresher light. The bouquet holds up really well and there is a terrific mineral crunch to finish. The red fruit starts to take the lead and the precision of this first class Clos de Tart was clear to see.”
Jasper Morris – 96-99 Points

“The 2019 Clos de Tart Grand Cru is very promising indeed, wafting from the glass with notes of wild berries, peonies, rose hips, warm spices, sweet soil tones and musk. Full-bodied, velvety and layered, it’s deep and concentrated, with lively acids, refined tannins and a long, perfumed finish. Matured in 70% new oak, this is a much more dynamic, classically proportioned and, indeed, soulful wine than its 2018 counterpart.”
William Kelley – Parker’s Wine Advocate 94-96 Points

“The 2019 Clos de Tart Grand Cru is first vintage where winemaker Alessandro Noli has 100% responsibility and so the buck stops with him. Firstly that dialling down of new wood was the correct decision because already it is seamlesly entwined within the aromatics, allowing the quite plush Dorset plum, bilberry and light estuarine aromas to flourish from the glass. Impressive delineation here. The palate is medium-bodied with fine grain tannins, very well judged acidity, great harmony from the start. Good salinity, that saltiness leaving a residues on the tongue and leaves it tingling and it feels reassuringly persistent. I think this is a great success for Noli and doubtless it will age well over the next 25-30 years. Welcome to the new Clos de Tart.”
Neal Martin – Vinous 96-98 Points

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Showing 305 Delicious Wines!

A combination of three parcels throughout the famous Sanford & Benedict vineyard. Two of the plantings are 10-12 years old, but certainly responsible for the dark, deep core of this wine. The third piece, a small fermentation of the original, own-rooted plantings from 1971, brings the elegance and floral lift. Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 Points
$231ea in any 3+
$221ea in any 6+
About Mongeard-Mugneret The Mongeard family arrived in Vosne-Romanée in the 1620, with records showing a Mongeard working as vigneron for Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in 1786. Their legacy now spans over eight generations, however they continue to produce wine with the utmost respect for tradition. In 1945, Jean Mongeard, whose mother was a Mugneret, found […]
$402ea in any 3+
$387ea in any 6+
Fanco's done it again!

Hoddles Creek Estate Pinot Noir 2022

Pinot Noir | Yarra Valley, Australia

You'd be hard pressed to fined a better value Pinot than this! Cherry, plum, baking spice, a little more earthy – more bass than treble here – some vanilla, thyme and mint in the mix too. It’s full of juicy red and black fruited flavour, a slight orange peel amaro twist through it, a pleasing amount of grainy/silty tannin, kind of autumnal too, a little rhubarb and spice, with a juicy and sappy finish of excellent length. Lots of flavour and a good amount of chewy texture. It’s balance o

DML VIN Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir 2019

Pinot Noir | Victoria, Australia

D'Anna + Middleton + Lewis = DML VIN Pinot! Red cherry, plum, spice, a little samphire and thyme, a slight smokiness too, and dried roses. It’s fine, but offers more grunt and substance than the more delicate Yarra Valley offering, more grain and grip through the tannin, poached strawberry and ripe pomegranate with a bit of crunch on a long finish. It’s lively and regional, and so nicely turned out. Gary Walsh
$62ea in any 3+
$60ea in any 6+

DML VIN Upper Yarra Pinot Noir 2019

Pinot Noir | Yarra Valley, Australia

D'Anna + Middleton + Lewis = DML VIN Pinot! It’s very pretty and refined. All fresh raspberry and red cherry, floral perfume and a dusting of spice, kind of juicy, but nicely composed, expanding and filling the mouth with flavour and gentle emery tannin, fresh and long through the finish. Wholesome feeling, classic styling, and just lovely to drink Gary Walsh
$62ea in any 3+
$60ea in any 6+

Pyramid Valley North Canterbury Pinot Noir 2020

Pinot Noir | South Island, New Zealand

Showing much more freshness & red fruit profile than the atypical 2021, sits fine and velvety on the tannin profile. Long and even. Plush and refreshing. Gently spiced. Elegant flavourful. Harmonious and integrated. Layered complexity with eathiness and a well balanced stalk use adding intrigue. A lovely perfume dancing over the top.
$65ea in any 3+
$62ea in any 6+

Pyramid Valley Central Otago Pinot Noir 2020

Pinot Noir | South Island, Central Otago

Fresh energetic zippy acid much more contained than the 2021. More vibrant without the darkness and dry red factor of the 2021. This will be a region that I look for the cool vintages. This is very good at the price point playing comfortably with Mercurey 1er Crus. They’ve nailed the mouthfeel: long, even and flowing. The core of fruit lingers on complexed with a little baking spice and again beautifully integrated stalk adding intrigue. Resolved. A little musk and rose playing at the edges.
$65ea in any 3+
$62ea in any 6+
Incredibly Elegant!

Stefano Lubiana Pinot Noir 2019

Pinot Noir | Tasmania, Australia

Superb expression right out of the gate, whilst it will offer much much more with time. Excellent depth and length with layer after layer of flavour. The energy of the fruit is balanced with a darkness, spiced and an intriguing sappy hint. The acidity and tannin marry well offering up a fine long structure.
$69ea in any 3+
$66ea in any 6+

Domaine Louis Boillot Bougogne 2016

Pinot Noir | France, Burgundy

There is a level of sophistication that you typically only see at the next level up, the village wines! Meadows nails the note here. There is a level of sophistication that you typically only see at the next level up, the village wines. The plush, supple texture caresses. Harmony brings together a wine of complexity and pleasing weight. Pretty & delicious! Here the expressive nose blends together notes of both red and dark currant with those of earth and a hint of humus. The supple, delic
$70ea in any 3+
$66ea in any 6+

Bindi Dixon Pinot Noir 2023

Pinot Noir | Victoria, Australia

The Dixon comes from part of the original 1988 planting of Pinot Noir at Bindi and some of the 2001 Kaye vineyard. As always, it's bottled a little earlier than the other five Bindi Pinot Noirs; at ten months rather than 15. The wine is made with destemmed fruit and wild yeast in open fermenters and matured in small French oak barrels. The 2023 is immediately fragrant with lifted red cherry, raspberry, strawberry and spice. There is a touch of eathiness and some savoury cherry stone fragrance. T
$72ea in any 3+
$69ea in any 6+
Fascinating tasting this with Burghound’s note and next to a 2020 Guillard ‘Reniard’ from Gevrey-Chambertin. The villages of Savigny-lès-Beaune and Chorey-lès-Beaune tend to show the sunshine a little more compared to those both further south and north. Dark and clearly ripe, Pavelot has maintained energy and vitality. The tannins build to a crescendo along the palate balancing the richness with a fine acid. The shape and flow are generous, yet linear with that quality tannin and persist
$73ea in any 3+
$69ea in any 6+

Domaine Louis Boillot Bougogne 2017

Pinot Noir | Burgundy, France

There is a level of sophistication that you typically only see at the next level up, the village wines! "A super-fresh mix of red and dark berry fruit aromas is liberally laced with earth wisps that can also be found on the vibrant and delicious flavors that possess very good depth and persistence and only a trace of rusticity. This should be accessible young but be able to reward a few years of cellaring as well." Allen Meadows The fruit for the Bourgogne comes largely from Gevrey-Chamber
$74ea in any 3+
$70ea in any 6+
The 2019 Bourgogne Rouge offers up aromas of sweet red berries and plums mingled with peonies and spices. Medium to full-bodied, seamless and textural, it's deep and complete, with lively acids and a penetrating finish. Bouley now gives his regional bottlings the same extended élevage as his grander appellations, and the result are compelling. William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
$76ea in any 3+
$72ea in any 6+
Pavelot's Top wine rates as one of the few remaining bargains in Burgundy! The 2018 was delicious the 2019 will be in my gob next week! A perfumed, ripe and cool nose features notes of red currant, black raspberry, violet and a hint of sandalwood. There is very fine mid-palate density with an abundance of sappy dry extract to the velvety and mouth coating flavors that flash good minerality on the powerful, balanced and hugely long finish. This is marvelous but it's also a buy and forget
$83ea in any 3+
$79ea in any 6+
Maison Dieu is the name of an actual lieu-dit situated in Pommard but Violot chooses to employ the term cuvée anyway; in the period prior to 1937 this well-situated parcel was declared as Pommard rather than Bourgogne “Ripe aromas of red berries, plum and plenty of earth lead to voluminous and very rich middle weight flavors that possess a seductive texture before concluding in a clean, refreshing and only mildly rustic finale.” Burghound
$88ea in any 3+
$84ea in any 6+
“The 2018 Rully offers up lovely aromas of cassis, blackberries, rich soil tones and dark chocolate. Medium to full-bodied, round and fleshy, its generous core of fruit is underpinned by lively acids and velvety tannins. Last year, I wrote that the 2017 rendition was one of the most unabashedly delicious Rully reds that I can remember tasting from Vincent Dureuil, but this 2018 is just as charming—and with somewhat more depth, too.” William Kelley, The Wine Advocate The full pote
$89ea in any 3+
$85ea in any 6+