Pinot Noir is, without a doubt, one of the most romanticized red wines in the world.
It’s classy, elegant and refined. It’s ridiculously hard to grow, which also means it is rare and those who succeed, are able to create something incredible. It may sometimes look light and airy, but there is more to this beautiful grape than initially meets the eye.
A huge congratulations to The Wine Pig’s top 7 Pinot Noir’s and their producers, which have all managed to blow The Wine Pig away with their varied and equally delicious versions, on either side of the Tasman Sea.
For the Pinot Noir lover in all of us.
De Salis Wines, Orange – 2012 Lofty Pinot Noir
De Salis's 2012 Lofty Range Pinot Noir stands proudly out from the pack. Located on the edge of Mt Canobolas in Orange, NSW, the cool climate helps create an amazingly soft wine which has lots of delicious red fruit and a velvety finish leaving you desperate for more! It has to be tasted to be believed!
Josef Chromy, Tasmania – 2012 Pinot Noir
Josef Chromy’s’s vineyard is again a perfect climate for making the very best Pinot Noir possible. This version is light, bright and bursting with cherry and a hint of silky dark chocolate.
Mayfield Vineyard, Orange – 2013 Pinot Noir
A wonderfully intense Pinot Noir with soft black cherry flavours and a hint of spice wrapped up in a super silky finish, Mayfield Vineyard has hit the nail on the head with this one! It’s earthy, savory and utterly gorgeous – Pinot has never tasted so good!
AND FROM ACROSS THE TASMAN
Craggy Range Vineyard, Marlborough – 2012 single vineyard Pinot Noir
This excellent NZ version of such an iconic wine doesn’t disappoint. With big bright cherries in a medium-bodied but rich wine is both savory and dry but excellently fruity.
Amisfeld Wine Company, Central Otago – 2013 Pinot Noir
If it’s good enough for the royals, it’s good enough for all of us! From the five wines we picked for tasting, the 2013 Pinot Noir was a very clear stand out. The new release has an astoundingly fantastic bright red fruit and hints of spiced Christmas cake with chic and refined delicate silky tannins. Simply fantastic!
Brennan Wines, Central Otago – 2012 Gibbston Pinot Noir
The beautifully powerful 2012 version of Brennan’s Gibbston Pinot Noir is still young but still wonderfully rich with lots of dark chocolate and black cherry notes wrapped up with delicate silky tannins.
Chard Farm, Central Otago – 2013 ‘The Tiger’ Pinot Noir
Picking just one Pinot Noir from a range of six was exceptionally difficult because they’re all so god damn wonderful. But one which stood just ahead of the pack for The Wine Pig was another from its icon range, the Tiger. Aptly named, this Pinot Noir is wonderfully intense, packed full of complex black cherry and violet notes while also maintaining an amazing soft, silky texture. It was very easy to fall in love with this wine!
Liquid sunshine for the soul!!
Now is the season when many of the wine lovers among us turn to their attention to Port and Sticky wines.
Ok so you can’t drink these wines all day everyday (without some serious blood sugar issues) but it’s like delicately savoring your favorite ever desert, which lasts for an entire bottle.
After all, is there any better time for a petite little glass of something sticky and sweet than at the end of a hearty winter meal?
There are many different variations – sweet and smooth, light and fruity, heavy and Christmassy or just plain sticky… and they’re all worth a whirl.
Here are our 8 favorites – for which The Wine Pig gives a warm congratulations to the wines and their makers.
For the Fortified and Desert wine lovers in all of us.
Josef Chromy, Tasmania – Ruby Pinot NV (Fortified)
If you’re looking to enjoy your cool evenings with a more traditional style of port, then Josef Chromy’s Ruby Pinot is a great place to head to. It screams rich fruit cake with ripe and juicy dark cherry and plums. It’s silky, it’s vibrant and it’s delicious. Make sure to pour yourself a generous portion!
Tempus Two, Hunter Valley - Botrytis Semillon
Powerful, sweet and complex, Tempus Two’s Botrytis Semillon is packed with fruity marmalade and dried apricots with a hint of honey and a smidge of zesty citrus. A wonderfully elegant and excellently rich way to end a meal.
Patina Wines, Orange – Old Tawny Liqueur
Patina Wines’ amazing Old Tawny Liqueur is to die for. It’s had many years of aging in small oak barrels and the outcome is fantastic. A wonderfully fruity and complex post-winter dinner wine which is offset by luscious nutty and sweet toffee notes. There is no way you’ll get away with having just one little sip!
Mudgee Wines, Mudgee – 2011 late harvest Golden Triangle Semillon
Mudgee Wines’ 2011 late harvest Golden Triangle Semillion has a golden honey colour while being packed full of sweet and juicy tropical mango and pineapple notes, offset with a hint of oakiness. Incredibly smooth and incredibly wonderful. Hello winter deliciousness!!!!
Petersons, Mudgee – Cellar Port NV
If something a little heavier is more to your taste, Petersons of Mudgee make a spectacular Tawny Port which can really truly be described as Christmas in a glass. Ok, so we’re still half a year out from the silly season, but Christmas in July is just around the corner. You wouldn’t find The Wine Pig’s dinner table without a bottle, and healthy glass, of this one. Heaven in a bottle.
Pieter Van Gent, Mudgee – White Port
The original white port made in NSW’s Mudgee region, by the wonderful Pieter Van Gent, is smooth, silky and luscious with tinges of nectar notes. It is a fantastic accompaniment to your hearty winter feast, or simply on the side of a hot desert. It’s not too sticky, it’s not too sweet, it’s just right.
McWilliams, Hanwood – Show Reserve Limited Release Tawny Port
This port screams dark chocolate and Christmas pudding like all the very best Tawny Port’s do…but its rich and full flavoured palette combined with a silky smooth finish set it apart from the rest. This bottle didn’t stick around for long in The Wine Pig household!!!
Tim Adams, Clare Valley – 2011 Botrytis Riesling
If sweet and luscious is what you’re after then look no further than Tim Adam’s Botrytis Riesling. Its sugary characters are perfectly balanced with the floral and citrus notes traditionally found in a Clare Valley Riesling, and the outcome is exceptional. Stock up on the cheese and crack open a bottle of this beauty – it would be a crime not to!
The lamb is in the oven, the Easter egg hunt has been set up, and now onto the most important part of the day: what to drink.
To help you on your way, The Wine Pig has put together a list of wines which should be gracing your dinner table this Easter weekend.
Mayfield Vineyard, Orange – 2009 Pinot Noir Chardonnay sparkling We should all start off the Easter weekend with a glass of bubbles.
And this one is up there with the best.
It has a soft berry-ish taste, which probably explains the slight pink-orange tinge. YUM. It’s a wonder they have any stock left! Petersons House, Hunter Valley – pink blush rose If pink is more your flavour, look no further than the Petersons Blush.
The soft bubbles and pale pink colour, combined with the slightly sweet but very fresh finish makes this wine a perfect pre-dinner celebration drink to share with friends, if you are feeling generous enough to share that is.
LOWE Wines, Mudgee – ‘Bobby Lowe’ organic sparkling merlot For something a little different, definitely look for a great deep red sparkling to compliment all that lamb.
This is a perfect smooth and earthy sparkling red wine, also with the added benefit of being organic.
LOWE has made sure the wine has a low sugar level, meaning it’s really quite dry and fruity and lovers of ‘big’ reds will be excited to have a red sparkling with a bit more umpf.
Voyager Estate, Margaret River – 2014 Chenin Blanc
We all know lamb is the Easter dish of choice, so for those who aren’t ready to tackle a rich and bold red wine, a great Chenin Blanc should be on your list.
Voyager Estate have done a great job with this very easy drinking, early Chenin Blanc.
It’s got all the succulent and juicy tropical flavours with a hint of great sweetness while also being a fine full bodied white wine which is robust enough to stand up against all that meat.
Mount Pleasant, Hunter Valley – Singing in the Rain Rose
Picked early, specifically to make a rose, rather than using the juice that has been run off reds as an afterthought gives this wine a lot of its character. The Shiraz-based wine is pale salmon pink in colour has earthy and slightly floral undertones but with a powerfully juicy red berry finish. Perfect to enjoy with your Easter seafood entrée.
Two Hands, Barossa – Gnarly Dudes 2013 Shiraz For those looking for something a little more traditional to go with your Easter feast, definitely keep an eye out for this Two Hands wine.
This bold wine has a lovely medium but rich density and weight, which is full of flavour with ripe with berries, chocolate notes and a hint of smokiness.
This spiciness of this wine makes it worryingly and perfectly quaffable meaning we just can’t get enough of it in our mouths at once! Oink oink.
The original white port made in NSW’s Mudgee region, by the wonderful Pieter Van Gent, is smooth, silky and luscious with tinges of nectar notes. It is a fantastic accompaniment to your Easter chocolate desert feast, or simply with a hot cross bun on the side. It’s not too sticky, it’s not too sweet, it’s just right.
If you’re looking to enjoy your Easter eggs with a more traditional style of port, then Josef Chromy’s Ruby Pinot is a great place to head to. It screams rich fruit cake with ripe and juicy dark cherry and plums. It’s silky, it’s vibrant and it’s delicious. Make sure to pour yourself a generous portion!
Petersons, Mudgee – Cellar Port NV
If something a little heavier is more to your taste, Petersons of Mudgee make a spectacular Tawny Port which can really truly be described as Christmas in a glass. Ok, so we’re nine months out from the silly season, but you can’t have Easter without an amazing port, and you wouldn’t find The Wine Pig’s dinner table without a bottle, and healthy glass, of this one. Heaven in a bottle.