Australia is a big country so, as you can imagine, the styles of pinot noir that you find here are as varied and diverse as the people themselves.
There’s light and ethereal examples from the Yarra Valley, fuller flavoured from Mornington, super fresh styles from Tasmania, the wildness of the Adelaide Hills and everything else in between.
Australian pinot noir is getting better and better and, with around 15 different regions producing excellent quality examples, there is much to explore.
So check out each state for its individual regions, styles and producers.
Victoria is the ‘classic rock’ of wine regions. You know all the songs and you love to sing along to them. Loudly. It’s got the heartfelt ballads of the Mornington Peninsula, the sexy slow jams of the Yarra Valley and the funky, cool tunes that you find in Macedon, Ballarat and Gippsland. Victorian Pinot is always on high rotation on our playlist (or cellar) because we know it’s always a crowd pleaser.
Tassie pinot is like listening to your mate’s banging hip hop playlist: fun, full of soul and thought-provoking. Pinots from this region have the structure of a DJ Shadow song, and the flavour of Dr. Dre’s The Chronic record. Get your wineglasses ready and start scratching those vinyls, because there’s a new kid on the pinot block and they’re bringing the funk.
South Australian pinot noir is the Pop Princess of the wine world. Most of the time, the wines are fun, bright and dance across your palate. But there’s pockets within the region (we’re looking at you, Basket Ranges) where the wines get a little down and dirty, a bit funky, and push the barriers of winemaking norms (think Christina Aguilera when she dyed her hair and starting wearing a lot of leather). They don’t always get it right, but experimentation is at the heart of the region’s charm, and why pop music (like it or not) will always reign supreme.
Western Australian pinot noir style just screams Classical. Long, drawn-out notes, with depth of fruit and a distinct style that is timeless. There’s a hidden complexity to these wines (much like Beethoven), and the subtle aromas in the glass and the soft flavours on the palate always build to a vibrant crescendo.
NEW SOUTH WALES
New South Wales pinot noir is a bit like the kid in high school who told everyone he was going to be a great singer and got laughed at. But look who’s laughing now? The dark horse of Australian pinot regions, the wines are intricate and flavoursome with great balance and energy. Watch this space, because pinot from NSW is about to be big.