Hahn SLH Pinot Noir 2016

Hahn-SLH-pinotThe Santa Lucia Highlands is a relatively new AVA in the Monterey region, having only been designated in 1991.  It’s history is much longer than this as vineyards were first planted there over two hundred years ago. Spanish settlers recognised that the well-drained soils and the cooling winds coming off the cold waters of Monterey Bay to temper the heat in the vineyards, was a combination that made for producing graceful wines such as this.

This is a delectably lush textured, yet elegant, Pinot Noir made from fruit from four of the Hahn family’s Santa Lucia Highlands vineyards. Full of ripe black cherries with a rich cinnamon and brown spice warmth and a liquorice perfume twist. After 11 months in French oak, there is a spicy savoury detail to the fruit and a smoothness to the tannins.  It is a wine that I could certainly have a second glass of….. or third. .

Country of Origin: USA, Santa Lucia Highlands AVA
Price: USD $30  | UK £29
Drink: now – 5+ years
Needs food: a good wine for food
Tasting Date: May 2018
Source: tasting

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Ara Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015

ara-SVPNNew Zealand’s Marlborough region has SO much more going for it than just Sauvignon Blanc, it has the potential for elegant and charming Pinot Noir too.  Whereas Central Otago, with its many sunlight hours, produces bold, vivacious Pinot, I find they are too often too high in alcohol. There is much to love in the drinkability of the Marlborough Pinots.

The Ara Single Vineyard Pinot Noir is made from grapes sourced from the Wairau Valley in Marlborough.  Fresh raspberry, black cherry and dried herb notes are supported by the richness of some finely honed vanilla oak.  Ten months in mostly old oak has given this pinot some polish and extended the finish. As it moves through the mouth, it takes a more earthy and herbal tone.

To get the best out of this wine, it needs to open up so either decant it or leave the bottle open for an hour before serving.  Give it this time and it will become a richly perfumed crowd pleaser for a good price.

Quickie review «A gently perfumed and persuasive pinot that becomes more earthy on the palate.»

Country of Origin: New Zealand  Date: November 2017    Price: AUD20+ /GBP12  Drink: now – 5 years   Needs food: no   Source: purchase


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La Bohème Act Two Dry Pinot Noir Rosé 2016


When the De Bortoli family launched this wine in 2010, the Rosé Revolution was also born as a celebration of the dry rosés produced in Australia at a time when this type of rosé was barely on wine lovers radar. Now, when visiting a small local bottle shop in Australia, you have a much greater chance of finding a dry rosé, it may even be pale, in amongst the candy coloured, off dry pinks. There is even a good chance Read More

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The Austins & Co Pinot Noir masterclass

in a glass   ……

Austins-Ireland-PNAustins & Co are probably better known for their 6ft6 range of wines. The family winery from Australia’s Geelong wine region have a knack for producing quality wine with funky labels at around the $20 mark. They also have recently embarked on releasing two wines that showcase the potential for Pinot Noir in Geelong’s, Moorabool Valley. Read More

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Hungerford Hill Dalliance 2010



This fizz is often lauded as one of New South Wales’ best sparkling offerings and having tasted it several times recently, it is a wine that certainly stands up and puts itself forward. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes for this wine come from the very cool climate Tumbarumba region and display the fine ripe flavours and the acid to balance the bubbles. The Dalliance 2010 is a richer wine compared to the 2008 and it has evolved into a rich honey citrus and cinnamon apple wine layered with brioche and almond nougat.

Not only does it work as an aperitif, with that intensity and texture, try it with seafood, light canapés and starters too. Just don’t serve it too cold and really enjoy the complexity that the 2010 has to offer.

Date:  7th December 2014   Price: $35    Value: $$   Drink: Now, why wait

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