Monday, March 28, 2011


- Gippsland, VIC
- $16-$18
- Screwcap
- 12.5%alc

With fruit sourced from key Victorian regions such as the Yarra Valley, Gippsland and the Mornington Peninusla, Franco D'Anna's regional Wickhams Road wines sit happily at the classy end of cheap Australian pinot noir.

Although somewhat idiosyncratic, the 2010 Gippsland Pinot Noir does prove attractively varietal for $16. It shows a prominent stalky/sappy accent on the nose, with faintly musky red cherries and strawberries providing the underlying fruit punch. Taking into account its price, 12 year old vineyard source and a slightly lean nose, the Wickhams Road is ably textured and supple in the mouth, with a smoothly controlled extension of cherry flavours aided by a hint of white pepper emerging in its soft, lengthy finish, which also produces a more complex, savoury and tart note that just dissipates in a watered down fashion towards the end. There's not a huge impression of tight, drying structure (remember the price!) but its genuine length makes up for it.

ü Wickham Road's 2010 Gippsland is pretty good value for a $16 pinot noir really, but I am surprised by how much time and air it required to come together and truly show top form (3-4 hours in the decanter). A touch more bottle age might even be on the cards... Drink 2012-2014.
88 points


  1. I had the Wickhams Rd chardonnays last summer. Not tried the current pinots yet, but aim to soon. Ridiculously good drinking for $16 and I like the way Franco gives each of them their own twist and tweak just so they are a little bit different.

  2. I'm drinking the last of this wine now, and as I expected Sean, it drinks even better on day 2 - quite a surprise for such a cheap pinot!

    I haven't had the Wickhams Rd Chardonnays, but it makes perfect sense to me as a variety better suited to achieving a higher standard on the cheap, particularly from Victoria's cool climate regions. I understand Franco makes a Wickhams Rd Macedon Chardonnay? Now that I'd like to see in SA!

    Chris P

  3. Chris, I started drinking the Wickhams Rd wines last year after one of my occasional trips across the city to the D’Anna’s store at Balwyn. I usually pick up a mix of their Hoddles Creek and Wickhams Rd wines depending on what is still in the store when I go there. Last yr I had the pinots and just quietly the 08 Wickhams Rd YV pinot was eye-openingly good. So far this yr I have had a couple of chardonnays. Not the Macedon Ranges one. The YV chardonnay is elegant with a funky edge to it and the Gippsland chardonnay shows more oak and slightly honeyed. I think they are undervalued only because they are not estate wines like Hoddles Ck. But get much the same effort in the winery from Franco and have a really interesting angle because of regional differences.

  4. Thanks for the lowdown Sean :) You've well and truly whet my appetite for the Wickhams Road Chardonnays now, in particular the YV!

  5. Just opened a 2010 Pinot Noir that had been cellared and has opened up surprisingly well. Will now leave for some hours to see how it develops.