Because of its strong association with Shiraz and Cabernet it’s easy to overlook Australia when thinking Pinot. But some of my favourite and most most delicious New World Pinots have come from Australia. The country’s relatively cool areas produce Pinots with a mix of yum, charm and Burgundy barnyard. Such as this one. Penthouse hits a mid spot between New and Old world, and there’s a lovely good buddy quality. Hard to put the glass down. What a lovely winter evening treat. At a price well below what the neighbouring Kiwis charge.
Don’t be put off by the glitzy ‘penthouse’ label. And is it just a coincidence that the winemaker is named Randy! Aussies know how to have fun. As does Michael Godel with his spot-on review of this wine (see below). Don’t forget to lightly chill. Perfect with anything other than beef.
PENTHOUSE Pinot Noir, Adelaide Hill, Australia 432864 Vintages $16.95
“The berries, cherries and plums are a vivid smelling bunch with a cumulative tone occupying airspace at the border of mercurial. A silent request asked of this undomesticated (with 10 per cent whole cluster bunches in the wild ferment) Pinot Noir is ‘when are you gonna come down, when are you going to land.’ With time, the extreme brightness turns to density, of rustic earth and silky encrustation. Its answer sings to the tune of ‘you can’t plant me in your penthouse, I’m going back to my plough.’ Walks well beyond the yellow brick road of the Adelaide Hills and the varietal, to a place in OZ occupied by the curious and the songline follower. There is a lot of Pinosity in this $17 wine. The mid-glass transformation is a true plus. A heel click finish would have really sealed the deal. Drink 2015-2017.”
Score – 89 (Michael Godel, winealign.com, Nov. 8, 2015)