Wine Lists

Pinot noir to try

By Halliday Promotion

12 Jan, 2023

Pinot noir is an ancient grape variety with soft tannins and tasting characteristics of floral, fruit, earth, and herb and spice. Here are six expressions of the crowd pleaser.

The demand for pinot noir has risen significantly in recent years. But thanks to its fussiness and thin skin, it's no easy feat to make. 

These six wines are a celebration of Tasmania and Victoria's Mornington Peninsula, the Yarra Valley and the Pyrenees wine region. Add them to your list.

2021 Bay of Fires Pinot Noir

2021 Bay of Fires Pinot Noir

Bright, vibrant red in colour. The perfume of the 2021 is very complex. Expect notes of sweet ripe strawberry fruit features with Chinese spice from MV6 cloned vineyards and whole bunch influence – star anise, cinnamon, plum, blossom. Elegant and supple, the wine shows remarkable power, intensity and length on the palate. Framed by ripe, moderate tannin, the graceful sweet strawberry fruit is complemented but not dominated by spice. Overall, the wine has wonderful poise and balance with remarkable length of flavour (as all great pinot noir should).

Winemaker Penny Jones says: Pinot noir loves a cold climate which means my home state of Tasmania is the best place to be! Tasmania is pumping out world-class quality pinots and it's incredibly exciting to be a part of that. The quality of Tassie pinot will only increase as new plantings in new regions continue to grow. It’s a truly exciting time. 

Food pairing suggestion: It’s been said many times before, but duck and pinot is hard to go past. Venison also works well, as do dumplings – duck dumplings! 

RRP $62 | Drink to 2031 |

Eddystone Point Pinot Noir 2021

2019 Eddystone Point Pinot Noir

Bright, vibrant red in colour. Notes of lifted fresh cut strawberry and Morello cherries give way to subtle and complex spice from whole bunch inclusion and quality French oak. The entry is gently sweet, then, aided by balanced natural acidity, strawberry seed tannin carries the palate to a point. The structure is light, yet with interest, cherries and spice are on feature. The delicate shape, and carefully considered use of whole bunches and French oak, revolve around purity of fruit. The 2019 is poised and balanced – true to style.

Winemaker Stewart Byrne says: I love how you can immediately see missteps in the growing and winemaking process with pinot noir. The varietal is extremely transparent to intervention, so the more hands-on practices you can eliminate in the winery the better. This is achieved by maximising the effort in the vineyard and virtually guiding the wine into bottle.

Food pairing suggestion: Match this pinot noir to herb-roasted Tasmanian salmon – the natural acidity of Tasmanian pinot noir opens up a range of food options. Try the 2019 with duck, chicken, or your favourite casseroles and stews...imagination is the only limitation.

RRP $36 | Drink to 2026 |

2019 Handpicked Wines Collection Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir

2019 Handpicked Wines Collection Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir

It’s easy to see why the Mornington Peninsula is one of Australia’s premier pinot noir regions in this wine of vibrant cherry fruits, spicy oak and earthy complexity. The palate is silky smooth and has velvety tannin. This wine is from select vineyards on the Peninsula as well as Handpicked Wines' own Capella Vineyard in Bittern, making it a true representation of the region and the season. The fruit was harvested by hand then chilled overnight at the winery before destemming and fermentation in open fermenters with hand plunging. A small parcel (about 5 per cent) was fermented in whole bunches to increase complexity. The wine was matured for 11 months in a mix of new and seasoned oak barriques from a selection of coopers.

Chief Winemaker Peter Dillon says: This elegant and refined pinot noir has intense cherry fruit and a freshness that is a true representation of the Mornington Peninsula’s cool-climate. It's best enjoyed slightly chilled, between 12–18 degrees on a hot summer day. Don’t be afraid to briefly pop it in the fridge.

Food pairing suggestion: This wine drinks perfectly with mushroom and poultry dishes. For the perfect grazing session we recommend pairing it with a hard cheese like comté or manchego. We also love the 2019 with rabbit stew.

RRP $59.99 | Drink to 2029 |

Pipers Brook Estate Pinot Noir 2021

2021 Pipers Brook Estate Pinot Noir

Elegant and expressive. Abundant aromas of red berries and dark cherry, earthy spice, perfumed with subtle floral notes and hints of exotic spice. Concentrated layers of red and dark cherry fruits with hints of subtle spice. Wonderfully textured mid-palate with fine structure and expansive intensity.

Chief winemaker Luke Whittle says: I love the challenge of making pinot noir, and the reward truly reveals itself in the glass when great pinot comes together. Pinot noir was the first wine I fell in love with, and it was a big part of what drew me to making wine. So to be able to work with pinot from our exceptional vineyard sites and create wines we're really proud of is incredibly gratifying and a full circle moment for me. Pinot noir is so expressive and each of our sites give us unique parcels that inspire us in our winemaking. We are then able to capture the best expression of our vineyards, which really speak of the region and our story.

Food pairing suggestion: We suggest duck confit or quail with our 2021 Estate Pinot Noir. It might be predictable, but that’s for good reason!

RRP $50 | Drink to 2025 |

2021 St Hubert’s Pinot Noir

2021 St Hubert’s Pinot Noir

Pale crimson in colour with red hues, the nose is vibrant and complex with notes of cherries and strawberry jam with earthy, forest floor notes. Spicy oak frames the wine. The wine is light- to medium-bodied and supple. Good balance with a stabilising acid line. Vibrant cherries and red fruits with savoury spice. Even across the palate with silky tannins.

Winemaker Greg Jarratt says: You've probably heard them all before – the fickle mistress, the holy grail, the most challenging variety, etc. Pinot is without doubt my favourite wine to make and drink. I love the soft and supple structure, elaborate flavours, and complex aromas. It leaves fingerprints easily during winemaking, which can be good and bad, so the key is to be respectful.

Food pairing suggestion: Pair the 2021 with peking duck, char siu, wild mushroom risotto, barbecue lamb cutlets, or grilled portobello mushrooms.

RRP $50 | Drink to 2029 |

Taltarni pinot noir

2021 Taltarni Pinot Noir

Light cherry red in colour, there are notes of cherry, strawberry and charred oak on the nose. The palate is fruitful, vibrant and silky. Fresh berry notes on the nose characterise the 2021 Pinot Noir, while sweet red cherry drives the mid-palate, followed by a long, clean finish. The regional characters of Victorian cool climate vineyards are the key components of this wine. The 2021 is drinking well now, and will also reward cellaring for five to seven years.

Winemaker Robert Heywood says: Pinot is a soft and delicate variety to work with and it responds to vineyard management, fermentation, oak treatment and ageing very well. This enables us to produce wine in the style that we see as the best fit for enjoyment by the wine drinker.

Food pairing suggestion: Pinot is a lighter style with lovely fruit sweetness. Enjoy the 2021 with salmon and other fattier fish dishes, which will highlight the best aspects of the food and the wine.

RRP $26 | Drink to 2027 |

Image credit: Wine Australia.