Saturday, July 2, 2011


- Yarra Valley, VIC
- $36-$42
- Cork (Diam)
- 13.0%alc

Spelling terrior backwards for your brand name might sound like a bit of a gimmick, but there's absolutely nothing foul about the intentions of Riorret Pinot Noir. Riorret is the brainchild of De Bortoli's Stephen Webber and Leanne De Bortoli, whose low intervention winemaking and single vineyard selections focus solely on promoting the special relationship between key Victorian sites and the pinot noir variety.

From a Healesville site planted in 1993 to the MV6 clone, the 2008 Abbey Vineyard reveals a nose of sweetly fruited, succulent and musky charm. Earthy suggestions of cherry kernel and dry spice pepper its bright cherry scents with a layer of savoury aromatics, expressing a pretty, sweet and savoury fruit profile bound by a relatively forward influence of raw cedar/vanilla oak. Elegant and unforced, its lightweight palate just glides in on entry, but it's driven assertively, deeper and wider by a beautifully varietal, genuinely sour-edged extract of refreshingly glossy, brisk acids and an ultra-fine sheet of velvety tannin. Within its structural outline resides a classically regional, savoury interplay of dark cherry and strawberry flavour, which may be a touch lean and clean at the moment, but it evolves tidily into lingering notes of clove and white pepper, providing a fine lasting impression throughout its bright acid wash.

ü Powered by a particularly slick acid structure, Riorret's Abbey Vineyard sits well away from De Bortoli's 2008 Yarra Valley pinot noirs, just as it should. I'll be watching the future of this label with keen interest, particularly as its asking price falls well within the reaches of normality. Drink 2013-2015.
92 points

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