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.