For the record, Pinot Noir always takes Nigel and Steve off the road more travelled and into less familiar territory, so they were on guard and ready for the experience. However, Ian and Becky Blake were instantly enticed because they are ‘Pinot people’.
Nigel was fascinated by Turon White’s approach to winemaking, especially wild fermentation.
Turon told us he was inspired to make this wine in his home region of the Adelaide Hills after spending the 2011 vintage working at Argyle and Roco winery in the Willamette Valley of Oregon USA.
While there he worked with 180 small fermenters of Pinot and hand plunged twice a day.
During this time he learned a lot of the nuances of Pinot Noir and a totally new way of winemaking.
The tasting panel was told how the 2013 Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir was hand-picked from a north facing vineyard in Norton Summit and a south facing vineyard in Woodside to which Becky Blake added, by the hands of virgins.
Turon’s notes told us each vineyard was planted to different clones specifically chosen to respectively provide the structure and the flesh of the wine.
In the making process, Turon went for 15 per cent whole bunch fermented in each open fermenter and was then wild fermented before being basket pressed and then run to second and fourth use French oak for 18 months of maturation on lees.
The 2013 Turon Wines Pinot Noir tasting notes
The panel all agreed this wine requires some concentration to unravel and interpret; it is not one of those happy-go-lucky, big fruit guzzlers that Australia owns the rights to.
The first thing Steve noticed was how the wine is very dry and he said the first sip is like placing your mouth under a hand dryer.
To Steve, this sends the wine directly to the category of one that is perfect for pairing with cheese or suitable dishes, which is much more French than Australian in nature.
The panel noted there were layers of fruit deep down on the front palate and strong earthy tones, even some green stalkishness, on the back palate.
Becky and Steve also commented on how the wine opened up over the course of two hours, suggesting some breathing time or decanting would be an excellent ritual for approaching this Pinot, which is the South Australian Drink Of The Week.
You can hear the live tasting here, about six minutes in.
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