Region: Strahbogie Rangers – Victoria
Once again, it’s back on to a Pinot Noir. Why? Well, this was a wine when I picked up a wine magazine had recommended wines for under $20.00. By now you all should know just how much I love Pinot Noir and therefore, I was all over this like Kanye West with a reason to be a dickhead.
Now, I looked and reviewed a whole bunch of French Pinot’s, and they were some of the most expensive wines I have come across along with one of the greatest wines I have ever had that I gave a 99/100 rating for. This wine under review, does not have that French pedigree and terroir, nor the notoriety to command such insane prices. However, this does not mean that cheap wine should be neglected and forgotten about. Every now and then you come across gems, and this wine was given a pretty decent review in the tiny 2 sentence review. I thought I would look at it more closely and break it down for you.
This wine comes from Victoria, thus not South Australian. For you South Aussie’s reading this, you will know how bitter we are when it comes to the Vic’s. However give them a chance. (Well if not for anything else, just their wines.) When it comes to Pinot Noir, they have the climate and region for this grape to thrive unlike our hotter climate. Thanks too cooler climates and then dry soils thanks to limited rainfalls, this wine can thrive and display great balance and drive some awesome fruit power too.
So what are we getting for our $18.00?
On the nose, and there is definite red cherry, cherry wood, and a little floral (violets) and earth tone in the mix. Also hums of plum are noticeable. Now, for a wine this price, finding plum on the nose is rare, and there might be a little dirty cheating methods going on here. And trust those Vic’s, there is. Those sneaky bastards have dropped a little bit of Zinfandel into the making of this wine. It is only 5%. However, those who have been to the Napa Valley in California, might know the Zinfandel grape as grape that really sucks in the heat of the earth and gives off big fruit flavours.
Thanks to our preference in wine tastes in the western world, we crave wines that carry more along the lines of fruit than it does of earth and floral tones. Thus, by adding in the small percentage of Zinfandel, this wine pops along with a bit more rounded fruit than earth of its French brethren, and this transfers onto the palate as well.
Thus, on the palate, you find that it holds that red cherry flavour up front, but then it becomes a bit more classic and refined, it’s smooth and nearly starts to bully into French Pinot Noir territory, with earth working it’s way in, just numbing off the fruit drive. It starts to mix up what we love about our Western wines, but shadows some French qualities too, yet without the heavy tannin, so infamous to French wine. The mid palate is dryer than how it starts, but when it carries, it finishes with dry fruit stones (Like sucking the big stone of a plum, apricot etc,) then elegantly lingers off with fruit spice rather than oak spice and that could be partially due to the Zinfandel influence in the wine.
Though this wine might not command great prices; it should command your respect and a look in. For $18.00, this Pinot Noir might be one of the best under $20.00 wines you will find this year.
A real diamond in the rough, and a great example of what you can find if you look, or read some articles in a wine write-up. Cheeky, yet lovable. A real winner when it comes to selecting a wine for the evening. If you have read my earlier Pinot Noir write-up’s, then you will know that this is a wine variety that will match up with nearly any read meat or vegetarian dish you throw its way.
Drink: Now to 2020. This wine has no real carrying qualities, and is more drink sooner than later wine.
The SA Wine Guy