Monday, February 28, 2011


- Adelaide Hills, SA
- $26-$33
- Screwcap (Stelvin-Lux)
- 14.0%alc

Yes; I am one of those people who isn't fully convinced the Adelaide Hills has made it as an elite pinot noir region just yet (Ashton Hills being the notable exception). One label I believe is capable of changing my opinion, is veteran winemaker Tim Knappstein's Riposte, which delivered a very attractive, cleanly balanced Sabre Pinot Noir from 2007 (91pts). More recently, Tim's 2009 won the trophy for 'Best Pinot Noir' at last year's Adelaide Hills Wine Show.

Riposte's 2009 Pinot Noir throws off a fairly woody scent to commence (10 months French oak, 10% new), which does restrain its stalk-edged dark fruits somewhat, before a timely, gentle aromatic lift arrives in the form of dry spice. The palate shows an interesting combination of lean boundary lines filled in by a rather rich, dark fruited and meaty interior, but like many from the Hills, it's textural expression isn't exactly a pinophile's dream. Its ripe flavour finishes with a procrastinating extension that follows the lines set by its fore-palate, revealing dark cherry liqueur and apricot kernel notes underneath a tight, dry and ultra-fine structure. With extended aeration it seems riper, richer and smoother, which isn't necessarily a good thing, as it also seems less varietal.

O A fair Adelaide Hills pinot noir, which isn't exactly jumping from the region's pack. I'm sure it'll have its fans. At least Tim Knappstein has his Riposte at a fair price point. Drink 2012-2014.
89 points

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