The ever ethereal and elusive Pinot Noir
Working in a wine store I’m regularly asked what my favourite grape variety is. Of course, I reply, it all depends on the occasion and my mood. But to be honest, I do have my all-time favourites. While you might be forgiven for thinking Riesling is one, my most beloved varieties are actually Pinot Noir and Cabernet Savignon. Asking me to choose one over the other would be like asking me which of my (imaginary) children I prefer. Like children, they have such different personalities yet I love them equally and for different reasons. For today I’m going to focus on the subtle character of Pinot Noir, which is in sharp contrast to bold Cab Sav, and I’ll introduce you to a very special WA Pinot producer.
I often hear people in the wine industry describe Pinot Noir as ethereal and it does seem apt; Google describes the word ethereal as meaning “extremely delicate and light in a way that seems not to be of this world”. It’s certainly true a really good Pinot Noir can be difficult to come by and can seem quite magical when you finally find one. Once you’ve discovered the elusive drop you’ll probably also have to make a bit of a financial investment. All of this comes about because Pinot Noir is very fickle. We call it a transparent variety because there’s no way to hide any faults in the resulting wine. This means it’s harder to get right, taking greater than usual dedication and experience to produce a quality product. Compare this to a Cabernet Sauvignon. This variety is anything but transparent – it’s upfront, immediate and its big flavours act like a sponge soaking up any imperfections in the wine. I love this big, brooding, powerful variety that gives up all of its richness, density and complexity with the first sip. Conversely, Pinot Noir takes its time revealing all it has to offer; as you continue to nose your glass, further delicate delights emerge. Both varieties offer an extraordinary experience and writing this now I can see I am a woman drawn to extremes!
I claim that finding a good Pinot Noir is difficult, but not, of course, if you read The Secret Cellar… It gives me great pleasure to share my number one source of Pinot Noir – Batista Estate. Owned by winemaker Bob Peruch, this small Manjimup winery is an unusual place to find a Pinot Noir devotee, but that’s exactly what Bob is. Although WA is not known for Pinot Noir, Batista Estate’s hectare of Pinot produces 200 dozen every year of some of the best Pinot I’ve ever tasted. Since 1993 Bob has been developing his Pinot Noir craft, improving his product every vintage and attracting somewhat of a cult following. The wine is excellent. I remember Bob treating my family to a blind tasting of his 1997 Pinot in an Italian restaurant 6 or 7 years ago and I didn’t place it in Australia – I really believed it was from overseas. Batista Estate Pinot Noir certainly stands up to the well-known and loved Pinot brands, as evidenced by enthusiasts paying French Burgundy prices for Bob’s Reserve Pinot Noir! The Reserve Pinot is only made in the very best years – so far two barrels have been produced, in 2007 and 2009. In fact, Batista Estate could sell each year’s vintage 10 times over every year but Bob Peruch is interested in quality, not quantity. This is a man of the highest integrity, dedicated to honouring this most mysterious grape variety and committed to doing things his own way. Bob is a man who does the farming himself, grows his own produce, makes his own cheese and refuses to have an email address. He has an authentic approach to wine-making that doesn’t follow trends – the grapes are dry grown and handpicked and the grapes are basket pressed. The last 3 vintages in particular have really shone. Bob Peruch is a serious Pinot Noir maker who has my utmost respect – I recommend you seek out Batista Estate and experience the ethereal today.
The Secret Cellar Blog Offer – PLEASE NOTE THIS OFFER IS NOW FINISHED
I am very excited to offer you more than one option this month! I have 5 offers for Batista Estate wine; they aren’t all mixed – choose to buy single bottles, a six pack of a single vintage or a mixed six pack.
1. Batista Estate Pinot Noir 2010 6 Pack – $270
2. Batista Estate Pinot Noir 2011 6 Pack – $270
3. Batista Estate Pinot Noir Mixed 6 Pack – 3 bottles Estate 2010 and 3 bottles Estate 2011 – $270
4. Batista Estate Reserve Pinot Noir 2007 – $120 per bottle
5. Batista Estate Reserve Pinot Noir 2009 – $120 per bottle
We can provide free delivery in Perth Metro area for an order containing 12 bottles or more, for other areas charges will apply. Our rate for interstate delivery for 6-12 bottles is $25.00.
You can order more than one of any of the offers, and take advantage of more than one offer, but the selection of wines in each offer is fixed as listed above.
Order by opening the Wine order form below and once you have submitted your request, I’ll be in touch to arrange payment and delivery. – PLEASE NOTE THIS OFER IS NOW FINISHED.