Pinot Noirs in Australia
We will be making our first trip to Australia in a few weeks. We are particularly fond of pinot noirs, but are woefully uninformed with respect to those from Australia. Any recommendations for good pinots that we are likely to find on restaurant menus would be greatly appreciated.
I was waiting for the OP's trip details. DebbieAnn covers Tassie but missed Freycinet.
There is a big Mornington Peninsula pinot scene, from littlies like Moorooduc up to Paringa, Main Ridge and Philip Jones' Bass Philip if you have a large chequebook. There are also pockets in the Yarra Valley, with Mount Mary and Colsdstream Hills the standout, and Geeolong (Bannockburn). Also in the Macedon as well as Curly Flat is Bindi.
There are three basic approaches to Australian pinot by winemakers.One is the cheap and cheerful quaffer, highly cherry fruit. Not much of this around anymore because of the difficulty of growing and harvesting. Second is a well made wine reflecting local terroir - most of the Tassies are in this space. Some excellent wines with good winemaking skills. The third are the Burgundy obsessives, with very restricted fruit harvest, handling protocols etc - some of the Morningtons are in that space with a price to match.
There is also a good pinot pocket in the High Country - Epis and Giaconda are good ones from that region.
So it might be fun trying out some different styles whilst you are here. I reckon that Bass Philip, Mount Mary and Bindi are the best pinots in Australia, but (a) it depends what you like and (b) there are some really good value second tier wines. Ask your sommelier.
In addition to Tassie, there are quite a few good Pinots from Victoria. Mac Forbes is a producer who does some excellent pinots in a European style. Also, look for ones from the Mornington Peninsula.
There's a good chance that you'll also see a number of Pinot Noir wines from New Zealand on our menus here. Ones from Martinborough or Central Otago tend to provide consistent quality.
Enjoy your trip!
I love all the Pinot Noirs from Tasmania - you can hardly go wrong, although maybe they are a little on the fruitier side than european pinots. I am no wine expert, I just know I can order a pinot from Tasmania and be happy.
Tamar Ridge Kayena reserve
Bay of Fires
Bream Creek (had a great pinot from 2001)
and lots more - there is a list here of tassie pinots, I think I've tried most of them!
We like to drive around visiting wineries - Tasmania is pretty much fantastic for wine.