Valentine 2018 Pinot Noir
Dom Valentine, formerly of the Yarra Valley's Oakridge, Giant Steps, and WA's Xanadu and Leeuwin Estate, developed his skills further in two of Germany's premium Riesling producing labels and stints in South Africa and France. A new breed of wine maker, he developed his Riesling making skills inspired by his time in Germany, and headed back home to create his own label.
Valentine set to making wine from different vineyards from around Victoria – Yarra Valley, Mansfield, Heathcote and the King Valley, producing Riesling, Grenache and Pinot Noir. Dom is a perfectionist - and makes wines without compromise. We had tried his Heathcote Grenache previously - and it was a hit. So to the 2018 Pinot Noir, made from Lone Star Creek in the upper regions of the Yarra Valley.
There is an immediate smoky and flinty nose, giving way to cherry and plum notes -all hallmarks of pinot noir. This would be an easy call in a blind tasting. But where to from there?
Once it starts a little dance around the palate, we get loads of the juicy ripe fruit, layered with a very fine tannin profile. Lots of chewiness and boldness, there is dark cherry and almond like nutty notes, with an almost powdery texture.
It's very finely balanced and textured, but I wonder if a little age might not take this even further. It seemed somehow restricted, like it was waiting to open up a little more, or perhaps we drank it too swiftly. It is delicate but not in an insipid way, which may point to Valentine's style rather than anything else.
Either way, we are fans and will but more. Is it the best Pinot we have tasted from this vintage and region? Probably not, but nor does it have to be. With a charcuterie platter and a nibble of bbq chicken, you cant go wrong.
RRP $40 at independents mostly.
VIC| 2018 | Yarra Valley | ABV 13%