Ex-Pepper Tree, now chief McWilliam’s winemaker Jim Chatto strikes out on his own with this much touted Pinot Noir from Tasmania’s southern Huon Valley area. When I open a bottle that has received such rapturous applause as this there is always a mixed feeling of excitement and trepidation. I’m pleased to say the former imposed itself within a very brief space of time and only increased as I continued to sniff and sip the wine in front of me.
It’s highly fragrant with profound red berry and cherry fruits, sappy edges and elegant beauty. Suggestions of earthy beetroot and rhubarb. Sleek, svelte and silken with a long spicy epilogue. Acid carries the flavours but the slip of masterfully fine tannin on the back-palate extends the finish and comprehensively closes the seduction. A wine of light-bodied intensity and latent depth. Those seeking power, body and layered complexity might want to look elsewhere but for me, this is what the best Australian Pinot is all about. 95
Region: Huon Valley, Tasmania Alcohol: 13.0% Closure: Screwcap Price: $45 Tasted: November 2013
A first release from Chatto’s Isle Vineyard, down in the Huon Valley.
Raspberry, spice, minor stalk with subtle cedar oak and violet perfume. Light to medium bodied and pure fruited, built on fine acid rather than tannin – bony structure draped in elegant red fruits is what you might say, if you were fanciful – though the more prosaic would offer clarity, line and prettiness as being the order of the day. Firm, super long finish with a musky aniseed perfume. A wine of delicacy and great charm, brightly lit so as it almost seems translucent. A gem of a Pinot Noir.
Rated 95 points
Tasted November 2013