The demand for pinot noir has risen significantly in recent years. But thanks to its fussiness and thin skin, it's no easy feat to make.
Winemaker Penny Jones says: Pinot noir loves a cold climate which means my home state of Tasmania is the best place to be! Tasmania is pumping out world-class quality pinots and it's incredibly exciting to be a part of that. The quality of Tassie pinot will only increase as new plantings in new regions continue to grow. It’s a truly exciting time.
Food pairing suggestion: It’s been said many times before, but duck and pinot is hard to go past. Venison also works well, as do dumplings – duck dumplings!
RRP $62 | Drink to 2031 | bayoffireswines.com.au
Winemaker Stewart Byrne says: I love how you can immediately see missteps in the growing and winemaking process with pinot noir. The varietal is extremely transparent to intervention, so the more hands-on practices you can eliminate in the winery the better. This is achieved by maximising the effort in the vineyard and virtually guiding the wine into bottle.
Food pairing suggestion: Match this pinot noir to herb-roasted Tasmanian salmon – the natural acidity of Tasmanian pinot noir opens up a range of food options. Try the 2019 with duck, chicken, or your favourite casseroles and stews...imagination is the only limitation.
RRP $36 | Drink to 2026 | bayoffireswines.com.au
Chief Winemaker Peter Dillon says: This elegant and refined pinot noir has intense cherry fruit and a freshness that is a true representation of the Mornington Peninsula’s cool-climate. It's best enjoyed slightly chilled, between 12–18 degrees on a hot summer day. Don’t be afraid to briefly pop it in the fridge.
Food pairing suggestion: This wine drinks perfectly with mushroom and poultry dishes. For the perfect grazing session we recommend pairing it with a hard cheese like comté or manchego. We also love the 2019 with rabbit stew.
RRP $59.99 | Drink to 2029 | handpickedwines.com.au
Chief winemaker Luke Whittle says: I love the challenge of making pinot noir, and the reward truly reveals itself in the glass when great pinot comes together. Pinot noir was the first wine I fell in love with, and it was a big part of what drew me to making wine. So to be able to work with pinot from our exceptional vineyard sites and create wines we're really proud of is incredibly gratifying and a full circle moment for me. Pinot noir is so expressive and each of our sites give us unique parcels that inspire us in our winemaking. We are then able to capture the best expression of our vineyards, which really speak of the region and our story.
Food pairing suggestion: We suggest duck confit or quail with our 2021 Estate Pinot Noir. It might be predictable, but that’s for good reason!
RRP $50 | Drink to 2025 | kreglingerwineestates.com
Winemaker Greg Jarratt says: You've probably heard them all before – the fickle mistress, the holy grail, the most challenging variety, etc. Pinot is without doubt my favourite wine to make and drink. I love the soft and supple structure, elaborate flavours, and complex aromas. It leaves fingerprints easily during winemaking, which can be good and bad, so the key is to be respectful.
Food pairing suggestion: Pair the 2021 with peking duck, char siu, wild mushroom risotto, barbecue lamb cutlets, or grilled portobello mushrooms.
RRP $50 | Drink to 2029 | sthuberts.com.au
Winemaker Robert Heywood says: Pinot is a soft and delicate variety to work with and it responds to vineyard management, fermentation, oak treatment and ageing very well. This enables us to produce wine in the style that we see as the best fit for enjoyment by the wine drinker.
Food pairing suggestion: Pinot is a lighter style with lovely fruit sweetness. Enjoy the 2021 with salmon and other fattier fish dishes, which will highlight the best aspects of the food and the wine.
RRP $26 | Drink to 2027 | taltarni.com.au
Image credit: Wine Australia.