Tuesday, August 2, 2011


- Yarra Valley, VIC
- $25-$39
- Screwcap
- 13.5%alc

I think it'd be fair to say Australia's most interesting and progressive pinot noir comes from smaller makers, but there remains a couple of brands from within the corporate groups, most notably Accolade's Bay of Fires and Treasury Wine Estate's Coldstream Hills, who do an outstanding job of representing the other side. As little as 5 years ago I would've said Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir shone like a beacon within its marketplace, but these days, $20-$30 Australian pinot noir is an increasingly competitive crowd.

Very pretty and openly aromatic, with floral, peppery scents adorning aromas of dark cherries and plums, continental meats and spicy vanilla/cedar oak, Coldstream Hills' 2010 paints a picture of a perfumed, spicy and delightful little pinot noir, constructed beautifully within its maker's intentions. Its palate however, just seems to let the nose down initially, especially if you're an impatient drinker. At first, its dark and savoury suggestions of exotic meats and spice lack mid-palate stuffing and textural excitement, but with patience (3+ hours decanting) the wine fleshes out nicely, revealing a juicy core to connect agreeably with what is essentially a lithe, prickly outer shell of fine, crisp structure. It's quite meaty yet fresh to finish, like cabanossi pulled straight out of a fridge.

ü Practically all the elements of a good Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir are here. It just needs time, a decanter, patience, or some sort of a combination of all of the above. Drink 2012-2015.
90 points

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