I started this event by looking at some varied set of six Pinot Noir with wine writer Peter Bourne and the winemakers from Willow Creek and Ten Minutes by Tractor on the opening Friday night.

Willow Creek “Tulum” Pinot Noir 2004 – (Mornington Peninsula, Victoria):
Ah, I’ve wandered into the Shiraz tutorial by mistake. No? Oh.

Hits you with a rich, ripe nose with boudin noir/black pudding, rhubarb, mint and spice aromas. The palate has masculine power and plenty of flavour but it lacks length and lacks class. Perhaps it is a Pinot Noir for those that don’t like Pinot Noir? I happen to like Pinot Noir.

10 Minutes by Tractor “Wallis Vineyard” Pinot Noir 2003 – (Mornington Peninsula, Victoria):
A light-mid red colour. A more reclusive nose than the Tulum, but also cleaner in nature with red cherry, a slight floral edge and some oak showing through. The palate is elegant and has good texture, but again the oak comes to the fore. It may be better in a couple of years if the fruit can hold up.

Pipers Brook Estate Pinot Noir 2004 – (Northern Tasmania):
Stalks and earth on the shy, weak nose. The palate also lacks intensity, depth and character. Very disappointing and I don’t think that it’ll get better.

Quartz Reef Pinot Noir 2004 – (Central Otago, New Zealand):
Dense purple in colour. The nose has aromas of beetroot, blue cheese, earth, black cherries and a touch of spice. The palate has good length, but it leans too far into the juicy, plummy, ripe spectrum and loses varietal typicity as a result. There is also some alcohol heat poking through.

Domaine Jean Grivot Vosne-Romanée 2002 – (Burgundy, France):
Has an elegant, spicy nose with plums and cherries. The palate is simple without a great deal of depth or intrigue but at least shows balance and elegance, something that was forgotten about in some of the previous wines. I don’t think it is going to get too much better, but it will be good to drink over the next couple of years.

Domaine Jean Grivot Nuits St. Georges “Les Pruliers” 1er Cru 2002 – (Burgundy, France):
Shows off a restrained, clean nose with spice, black cherries and floral scents. The palate is where the class of this wine shines through with lovely depth and complexity as well as an intensity of flavour that is refined rather than brutish. Super length, a genuine step up in quality, and it will deliver lots of enjoyment over the next 10 years.

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  1. Yes, these pinots that think they are Shiraz. It’s a bit of a worry but Willow Creek is not the worst offender. Funnily enough I had a very good tapas style lunch at the cellar door at Willow Creek on Saturday. I’m resolved to focus my wine blogging on the MP in coming months…

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