Best Australian Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir has steadily grown in popularity in Australia as consumers search for an alternative to fuller reds made from Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. The best examples of Pinot Noir are grown in cooler conditions. Pinot Noir is temperamental and sensitive to a whole range of influences in both vineyard and winery.
The Yarra Valley’s re-emergence as a wine region coincided with the rebirth of Pinot Noir, and today it is the most widely planted red varietal in that region. The cool climates of Tasmania and the Adelaide Hills also offer great sites for Pinot Noir, while Western Australia’s Pemberton and Great Southern regions are showing potential to create fine Pinot Noir.
When tasting Pinot Noir, it’s worth bearing in mind that it’s not a big red wine, but that it is all about delicacy and length, harmony and finesse. While we know Pinot Noir as a red wine, it is also one of the classic Champagne grapes prized around the world for the production of Sparkling wine.
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What does Australian Pinot Noir taste like?
Pinot Noir taste is generally quite delicate, and it takes a certain development of one's palate to truly appreciate its delightful nuances, perfumed aromas, textural elements and supple tannin profile. Australian Pinot Noir is typically low in colour pigmentation, has a perfumed nose, and shows red fruit such as cherry, raspberry, and blood plum flavours balanced by smooth tannins. Great Pinot Noir should age well and develop complex truffle, game and earthy characters.
Best Australian Pinot Noir wine regions
Pinot Noir in Australia is in a healthy position, with the established regions in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia producing more consistent and ever improving results. Equally exciting are the emerging Pinot Noir regions such as those in WA, as well as Tumbarumba and Orange that show that the future for Pinot in Australia is bright.
Australian winemakers have taken the lessons learnt in France and gradually developing ever-cooler areas to grow Pinot, working out the best soil types, and carefully exploring the ideal sites within each vineyard to grow this fickle variety.
Tasmanian pinot noir
Tasmania has an ideal climate for Pinot Noir, for both Sparkling and table wine production. Some of the most exciting Australian Pinot Noir is produced on the Tasmanian east coast.
Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir
Some fine Australian Pinot Noirs are produced on the Mornington Peninsula. These wines are light and elegant yet show fabulous complexity and are often very approachable in their youth.
Yarra valley Pinot Noir
The Yarra Valley has made exceptional Pinot Noir for some time. Pinot Noir is the grape variety that produces the most sort after red wines from the Yarra Valley. This red grape variety is most capable of producing greatest diversity of flavours and wine styles of all of the Yarra Valley wine styles. In fact, Pinot Noir seems to reflect the particular vineyard and growing condition better than any other significant grape variety. The wines are light in character, elegant and very approachable in their youth.
Great Southern Pinot Noir
We have seen a marked increase in the number and quality of Pinots coming from the West in recent years, particularly from the vast Great Southern area encompassing the five distinct sub-regions of Albany, Denmark, Frankland River, Mount Barker and Porongurup. Pinot Noir styles are varied with complex savoury styles from Denmark; elegant perfumed styles from Porongurup; rich fruit-driven styles from Mount Barker; big robust styles from Albany; lighter primary fruit styles from Frankland River.
Best food pairings for Pinot Noir
With varying styles within the varietal and the influences of rationality, Pinot Noir is quite a versatile red for food matching. There are ingredients that will pair with practically any pinot noir such as duck and mushrooms and others, such as salmon or tuna, where they will pair depending on the way you have cooked them and the style of pinot you are drinking.
Learn more about Pinot Noir variety
Wine Glass for Pinot Noir
Overall, red wines are best served in larger-bowled glasses, and there are generally two red wine glass shapes - Bordeaux and Burgundy. The larger bowl of red wine glasses, allows you to not only get your nose in to smell the aromas, but it also brings more air into contact with the wine, releasing the flavours and softening the tannins.
The Burgundy glass is perfect for more delicate styles of wine such as Pinot Noir. This shape allows the wine to hit the tip of your tongue where more delicate flavours can be appreciated and enjoyed.
Discover our guide to wine glasses here