So without further ado, here are my top picks from a top-class weekend.
Hamilton Russell Vineyards Pinot Noir 2016
Organically farmed in stony, clay-rich soil, this famed vineyard’s naturally tiny yields give rise to a superb tightness, tannin line and elevated length. Aged in french oak for 10 months, there’s a savoury character to the wine, along with a dark, spicy and complex fruit perfume.
Bouchard Finlayson Galpin Peak Pinot Noir 2016
Deftly balanced, delicate floral aromas give way to loads of red fruit and berries on the palate. An elegant finish concludes, not before leaving rumours of cassis in its wake.
THE NEW GUARD
Ataraxia Pinot Noir 2016
In this vintage, winemaker, Kevin Grant, has aimed to express Ataraxia’s ‘dirt in the bottle’ – paying homage to the terroir and willing it to reanimate in every glass. Deffering to the site and soil at every stage of the process, the end result is a wonderful tribute to its roots – earthy, with hints of red cherry and sweet spices lingering.
Newton Johnson Seadragon Pinot Noir 2106
Possessing a rich palate of red and black fruit, bolstered by vibrant spices, ethereal floral notes infuse with a full and silky mouthfeel. An abundance of fine tannins add elegant structure that carries the opulent fruit to the finish.
Storm Ridge Pinot Noir 2016
Hailing from a cool, eastern slope in the valley with clay-rich shale soils, these grapes are basket pressed - lending a wonderful richness with crunchy black cherry notes and fruit perfume to the nose and palate. A fresh acidity is coupled with just the right amount of silky tannins, giving way to a hint of spice.
Domaine des Dieux Josephine Pinot Noir 2016
Harvested in the early mornings to ensure pristine fruit, the least amount of intervention in the cellar allows this vintage to really speak of its surroundings. On the nose, perfumed red fruits combine with earthy cinnamon tones and a delightful and delicate smokiness (thanks to 10 months in small French oak barrels). Expect sleek tannins and a poised structure.