2019 Punt Road Pinot Noir
Yarra Valley, Victoria
13% RRP $29
It’s not simple to make respectable Pinot Noir. It’s temperamental with clones, seasons, and especially fickle in the winery. Repeating the same formulaic treatment each year doesn’t work – that’s why the variety is a winemaker’s frustrating darling. Buying a respectable Pinot Noir for under $20 is begging for disappointment; with its complexities and food-friendliness, paying more for decent, cool-climate Pinot is rewarding.
This young wine from Punt Road shows an attractive ruby crimson colour. It leads with fragrant cherry and raspberry notes, dark oak spices and alluring sappiness. It’s fleshy, and rich with fresh red cherry and mixed berry flavours. Pliant tannins will ensure this energetic savoury wine endures, but I would prefer to drink it within the next few years while it’s bright, crunchy and flavoursome.
Conclusion – Match with anything containing duck, or chicken (but avoid creamy sauces!). Fresh salmon or tuna is another surprising winning pairing.
2019 Unico Zelo ‘Pipe Dream’ Nero D’Avola
Adelaide Hills, South Australia 12.5% RRP $50
Nero D’Avola is the jewel in Sicily’s wine crown. If you love pinot noir or a slightly heavier Sangiovese and looking to branch out and explore some lesser known varieties, I’d highly recommend giving nero a try. The ‘Pipe Dream’ is a great place to start. Hailing from the Adelaide Hills, this small batch, minimal intervention, vegan friendly producer has nailed it. Bursting aromatics jump out of the glass, hitting you with dusty cacao and captivating redskins. The palate introduces a beautiful, natural acidity of crunchy red cherries, pink lady apples and a chalky texture for ultimate balance and more-ishness. The finish is smoky and reminds me of fresh coffee beans. Tannins are low, slippery but persistent; allowing for the versatility to drink right now, or lie down for five or so years. I picked this bottle up from Mr. West’s bottle shop. I highly recommend you do the same. I’ve literally drank two glasses while writing this.
Conclusion: Pair with orange glazed pork chops with green beans stirred in feta and sliced almonds. @foulkdogg