Pros: Great flavors, texture, balance
Cons: Too expensive for every day....
I have always enjoyed New Zealand Pinot Noir. Recently however I had what was probably my first try of Australian Pinot Noir (bottles with animals on them don’t count) and I welcomed the opportunity to expand my wine knowledge with a ‘new to me’ style. Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir is from the Yarra Valley; that’s a bit Northeast of Melbourne, on the South-Eastern side of the country. The wine is presented in a burgundy bottle with a simple white label, a river and valley picture. The stelvin closure (screw top) was black-the overall look was simple and classy. The bottle runs just under $30…it better be good for that price!!!
Coldstream Hills uses 100% Pinot Noir for this 2008 vintage; it is ‘made using a variety of handling and fermentation techniques, including the use of whole bunches’. Apparently the winery saw a very cool February but a hot March, and low rainfalls in general; the grape is already finicky-they must have been nervous come harvest! The wine is aged in 27% new (63% used) French Oak for nine months before they blend and bottle the juice. Supposedly suggested for consumption through 2014, so I figured I was right on target.
The wine pours deeply colored, reminding me more of Grenache than Pinot Noir. It’s full bodied enough visually that you can’t really see through the wine in the glass. The nose is clean and fruity-cranberry, raspberry, a little bark. I sipped in, and then found the excuse for the $30 price tag.
The tastes are spicy with white pepper yet clean textured over my tongue; I found blueberry and currants, deep and fruity but not at all sweet. The finish is simple but the perfect follow through-‘dry’ exists only to balance the fruit, and the tannins aren’t really detectable. It’s smooth but complex, medium bodied with a light texture yet full flavored, and overall absolutely delicious.
This wine is great for cocktailing, appetizers, simple chicken and pork dishes, or with some white pizza, maybe loaded with veggies. I would happily drink it on its own, however, I wouldn’t limit myself!
Before Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir, I hadn’t tried an Australian Pinot Noir that truly wanted to represent the grape and the terroir. If this is a true representation, I am sold. If it’s not, I will stick with this one. I am definitely reminded of NZ Pinot Noir in the clean texture and medium bodied style, however the fruit is bolder and bigger, and I love the result. I would love to poke around some other AU Pinot, although I haven’t really seen much. I will, however, enjoy every drop of this one…and try to get my hands on another bottle!
For more information on this winery and their products, visit http://www.coldstreamhills.com.au/
**Thanks so much to Christal for adding this to the database for me!!**