Wednesday, July 14, 2010


- Fleurieu Peninsula, SA
- $25
- Screwcap
- 13.0%alc

Minko is a small, family based winery whose wine business revolves around a 13 year old, 10 hectare vineyard planted at Mount Compass in the southern Fleurieu Peninsula. Its 2008 Pinot Noir (made by McLaren Vale's James Hastwell at Hawker's Gate) certainly impressed popular critic James Halliday, who awarded the $25 wine a lofty 95 points.

Slightly hazy and bright red, its rather withheld nose reveals a prominent note of beetroot backed by more savoury, reserved aromas of cherry, earth and cinnamon with restrained, toasty oak. Appropriately weighted in a medium-light sense, its palate is held in check by a lithe outline of faintly sour, zippy pinot acids and soft yet dry tannins. It's pleasingly composed and elegant, with a balanced finish that announces a rich push of earth and spearmint flavours with gentle spice, yet no rawness or hardness whatsoever.

ü+ Minko's 2008 clearly states the benefit of fastidious, small-scale winemaking for pinot noir. If Tapanappa's 2008 was downright sexy, then this is quite cute. It's also a big win for me on 3 different levels; for its price, for its region and for South Australia. Drink to 2014.
90 points


  1. I love the idea that as a country we are still discovering/yet to discover the best sites for certain varieties. This wine and the Tapanappa fall into that category of a region and a variety that are only just starting to come to grips with one another but are showing plenty of potential

  2. Too true Red, too true. Another burgeoning, cool SA region I'm interested in is Mount Gambier, which sits some 30 min drive south of Coonawarra. Unfortunately the only wine I'm able to locate from there is a Wolf Blass Sauvignon Blanc, although Hollick also release a rare pinot noir from the region which I've only seen at their Coonawarra cellar door (and I think it's rubbish!). Hopefully time will see the wines of Mount Gambier become more available for us in the future.

    I had an interesting chat with Mr Tapanappa himself Brian Croser on the issue of 'untapped' Australian vineyard sites last year, who seems to think the best place to go looking might be between the pastoral lands of Victoria's far west and South Australia's south east. Honestly, I couldn't disagree.

    Chris P

  3. Some very interesting thoughts! I must admit on driving to Coonawarra from Melbourne, I couldn't help noticing some similarities in soil on both sides of the border (and hoping the phylloxera bug didn't agree), and there seem to be some good producers from seeming viticultural obscurity in western Victoria from around Henty such as Crawford River, as you've noted in other reviews (I'm quite fond of their cabernet too, when it's not too green). So basically I couldn't agree more.