Review 2014 Huon Valley Pinot Noir

It billows with favour and yet it feels taut throughout; like a spinnaker. In short, its a ripper.

Campbell Mattinson

*Philip Rich, The Australian Financial Review Magazine – December ed.

Best wines 2015 – Top 20 –  Chatto Huon Valley Pinot Noir 2014

It’s an exciting time for Tasmanian pinot. Jim Chatto, whose day job is chief winemaker at McWilliams in the Hunter Valley, planted his own small 1.5-hectare vineyard in the Huon Valley, South of Hobart, in 2007. Early results suggest the future couldn’t be more promising. Made using a blend of seven clones cropped at a low 5 hectolitres per hectare, this pinot has gorgeous aromas of red fruits, spice and dried herbs. Its medium bodied palate is vibrant, crunchy and long.

*Huon Hooke, huonhooke.com July 2015

Medium to deep, bright red/purple colour, with an intense, expressive aroma of blueberry and raspberry, with an overtone of sulfide. It’s intense and refined in the mouth, a deliciously light-bodied but intense fruit-driven pinot of charm and finesse. Real fruit purity and length, with just the right amount of tannin to provide structure which is persuasive but subtle. The sulfide blows off fairly quickly. A gorgeous, aerial, fragrant pinot.

97 Points; to 2029

*James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion, 2016 ed.

The third release….Bright crimson-purple; fragrant cherry and plum blossom aromas foretell a beautifully sculpted, long and fine palate, the fruit having eaten the oak, the tannins a fine filigree.

95 Points; to 2024

* Campbell Mattinson, The Winefront 31 July 2015

Talking of stars of Australian wine: Chatto Wines out of a tiny vineyard in southern Tasmania has to be right up there.

The wine impresses; easily, fluidly, its touch velvety, its heart strong. It’s firm and smoky, reductive and yet beautifully fruited, its notes of herb-strewn cherries touched in equal measure by sourness, smokiness and savouriness. It billows with favour and yet it feels taut throughout; like a spinnaker. In short, its a ripper.

95 Points; 2015-2025

* Max Allen, Weekend Australian September 26-7 2015

Very pretty pinot with bright strawberry and raspberry fruit underscored by savoury flavours of wood smoke and damp humus.

Review 2013 Chatto Pinot Noir

2013 Reviews

* Nick Stock, Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine Oct/Nov 2014

It’s a complex, layered and youthful pinot that has plenty of modern reductive meaty character on the nose, clear and toasty oak, darker spices and a wealth of red and dark cherry fruit strapped in below. There’s gentle herbal notes here, too. The palate has clarity and brightness, acidity is a feature, framed in layers of supple yet muscular flesh and ripe, long tannins. But the real joy here is the space created in this wine. It’s very complex with plenty going on, bunt nothing lost in the mix. It speaks of an experienced winemaker who understands the essence of great pinot noir.

* Huon Hooke, huonhooke.com August 2014

Ranked #1 of 23 2013 Pinot Noir tasted from Tasmania

Bright, medium to full red/purple colour, and a meaty, smoky oak bouquet. The wine is bold and fairly straightforward, primary and youthful at this stage, with deliciously bright, deep, cherry fruit flavour dominating the palate. It’s still a baby and will be better in a year or two. It also may respond to decanting. It’s a little oaky right now and improves with airing in the glass.

93 Points; 2016-2022 

* James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion, 2015 ed.

***** Winery rating

Has the Dijon clones 777, 114 and 115, and MV6; around 25% whole bunches, an 8 day cold soak, wild yeast fermentation; after 15 days on skins pressed to French puncheons (30% new), the final stages of fermentation completed in barrel, where it remained 11 months. The perfect colour (hue and clarity) is a clue to the bouquet, with bright red fruits to stem and forest notes, the palate is picking up those markers and translating them into a perfectly proportioned and balanced wine; while the primary accent is on varietal fruit there is both a flavour and textural play from the fermentation methods and the oak, together providing silky tannins. 333 dozen made. Screwcap. 13.5% alc.

96 Points; 2014-2023  

* Jeremy Pringle, Freelance, July 28 2014

A different expression of the Huon Valley’s Isle Vineyard and one which tops Jim Chatto’s previous release in my opinion.

More body and intensity while leaning further into the savoury, wild spectrum. Exhibits a great deal of complexity. Deep cherry and redcurrant fruits, sarsaparilla root, orange peel and tea-leaf. Some darker briary notes. It’s a substantial Pinot yet agile through its line. Girdled with tannin too, far more so than its predecessor. Stalky, herbal tweaks on a distinguished finish. Impressive with the architecture and balance to see it stand the test of time.

95+ Points

Wine Will Eat Itself – November 18 2013 (Jeremy Pringle)

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

Wine Front – November 7 2013 (Gary Walsh)

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

Review – Huon Valley Pinot Noir 2012

*   Gary Walsh, The Wine Front Nov 7, 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 seems translucent. A gem of a Pinot Noir.

95 Points; 2014-2022

*  Jim Chatto’s Pleasant irony
BY: 
JAMES HALLIDAY  From: 
The Australian May 11, 2013

QUIETLY spoken 40-year-old Jim Chatto is one of the most talented winemakers in Australia.
Whether he is the best of all will come into focus over the next few years following his move to the McWilliam’s group, announced this month. His job there will be multi-layered; he will assume direct responsibility for Mount Pleasant, replacing long-serving winemaker Phil Ryan who is retiring, but he will also cover the group’s winemaking operations elsewhere, notably in the Hilltops region (Barwang), Coonawarra (Brand’s Laira) and Margaret River (Evans & Tate), and the vinous nerve centre at Hanwood in the Riverina.

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2012 Chatto Pinot Noir

The vines were not planted until 2007, and Chatto believes even better wines are in store with greater vine age. Vivid, crystal clear, purple-crimson; the wine was open-fermented with 25% whole bunches, and then matured in French puncheons (30% new). The bouquet is highly perfumed, and the red and black fruit palate is as pure, refined and long as everything suggests it should be. A pinot lover’s pinot.

96 Points; 2020