Pinot Noir on a Budget!
By Campbell Mattinson
23 October, 2015
It’s not always easy to fall for pinot noir but once you do, most people tend to fall hard. Few – read any – grape varieties get under your skin quite like pinot noir can. It’s a lighter red, high in perfume and with sordid undergrowthy characters rarely far away. It doesn’t yell its argument at you. It whispers. Seductively. In husky tones.
Or something like that. The problem is that pinot noir has a reputation for being expensive. Often outrageously so. The best examples on the world stage are usually made in minute quantity and as a result, command massive prices. The most sought-after pinot noirs of the world are pretty much the highest-priced wines in the world, and you have to beg to be allowed to pay for them. You can’t just walk into any old wine store and buy the new releases of the Domaine de la Romanee Conti. DRC aren’t made; they’re born. Well, almost.
It’s often the case, in wine, that higher price or higher quality means more flavour, more weight, more of everything. Better pinot noir offers more too, but not in the same way. The best pinot noirs offer more length, and more complexity. But they can still be relatively light. If your normal fare is Barossa shiraz then this can mess with your head a bit.
The good news is, Australia is one of the few places where affordable pinot noir can also be very good. In world terms, Australian pinot noir is fairly under-valued. If the dollars heads south this is unlikely to remain the case. You have to pick and choose carefully but a good $25 Aussie pinot noir is often roughly equivalent in quality to (French) Village and 1er Cru Burgundy, most commonly found in the $50-100 price range (and over). That’s a huge incentive to drink Aussie pinot noir.
And if you’re still getting your head around the variety, you need not sell a kidney to find your mark.
But only if you’re selective. Fortunately, we’ve done the hard yards for you. It’s a tough job …
Hoddles Creek Estate Pinot Noir 2014 ($20)
Punt Road Napoleone Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014 ($28)
De Bortoli Villages Pinot Noir 2015 ($20)
DCB Wine Pinot Noir 2014 ($20)
Riposte The Dagger Pinot Noir 2014 ($20)
Stoney Rise Pinot Noir 2014 ($29)
Foxeys Hangout Red Fox Pinot Noir 2014 ($25)
Payne’s Rise Mr Jed Pinot Noir 2014 ($30)
Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2013 ($30)
McWilliam’s Appellation Series Tumbarumba Pinot Noir 2014 ($24)