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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