2015 Isle Pinot Noir reviews
Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine April/May 2017 ed. pp52-53
Extract from article titled ‘Worth the Wait’ by Nick Stock
This pet project of winemaker Jim Chatto and wife Daisy is up and running and the recently released 2015 vintage wines are another step in terms of momentum. The wines are growing in stature as the vineyard beds itself in and the vines get established. The winemaking approach is thoroughly modern and assertive, a formwork that these wines will grow into over time.
The 2015 Chatto Pinot Noir (A$50) is a tight-wound, modern pinot that has a meaty, reductive edge on first opening. Aromas of charcuterie and toasty oak give way to cinnamon-dusted dark cherry as it unfurls into a complex young pinot with musky, violet-like florals. The palate is built around a central core of neatly woven tannins that guard bright red cherry, holding pure into a gently grainy finish. It has poise and grace; drink now with plenty of airing but better from 2018 to 2025.
The 2015 Chatto Isle Pinot (A$75) is darker in the glass than the regular Chatto pinot and it has a deeper, more resolved nose with dark cherry, plenty of fine baking spices and a gentle peppery edge. The mocha-scented oak has been better subsumed by more assertive pinot fruits. The palate is texturally entrancing, the classic iron-fist-in-velvet-glove style of pinot with sinewy tannins wrapped in plush, bright red and dark cherry flavours rolling up and out of the exhilarating finish. Drink now to 2025 and beyond.
Campbell Mattinson, The Winefront 17 August 2016
I listened to Jim Chatto speak on his wines recently and while I was busy tasting through an array of beautiful wines – including all the Chatto pinot noirs so-far released – I jotted down a couple of quotes. These included:
“As time goes on I’m going for gentler and gentler oak.”
“I’m a firm believer that great sites makes old vines, and old vines make great wines, but the great site comes first. Young vines on a great site can still produce wonderful wines.”
“Our Isle pinot is the wine I want to drink. The white label is no less in quality, it’s just made to be safer.”
This is the Chatto Isle Pinot Noir. I don’t think it sees any new oak; could be wrong. This is the second year where both a black label (Isle) and white label (“standard”) Chatto pinot have been produced.
It’s another fantastic release too. It’s absolute cracking. It was served amid a bevy of Burgundy beauties and yet I kept just wanting to come back to this. Cranberries, roses, herbs, five-spices, woodsmoke. Opens exotic and keeps the show going. Length. Juice. Layers of tannin. Kick to the finish. Complete pinot noir. It knows what it wants to be, and eschews distraction. Beautiful.
96 Points; to 2026
*Huon Hooke, huonhooke.com 8 August 2016
This wine has similar aromatics to the Huon Valley label, but with greater intensity, power and penetration. An amazingly powerful bouquet of fragrant herbs, balsamic and distinctive. The concentrated fruit is sweet and luscious, primary and powerful. It’s incredibly long and decadent. Amazing flavour and amplitude; even more opulent than the 2014. (one-third whole bunches; no new oak)
97 Points; to 2030
*James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion, 2017 ed.
Dijon clones 777 (75%) and 115 (25%), hand-picked and sorted, 25% destemmed whole berries, 8 days cold soak, open-fermented, 15 days on skins, pressed to French oak (35% new) at 1˚ baume for 10 months maturation. Deeper colour than their standard Pinot, the bouquet and palate follow suit with darker fruits led by plums, the texture and structure still with the outstanding mouthfeel, balance and length. Tasted in the same month as it was bottled, which makes it unbelievably harmonious, its line and length flawless.
97 Points; to 2030