riorret pinotSorry Dubai drinkers – I’m swilling this in Oz, and you’ll probably never see it. But it’s just so good, I have to tell you anyway. And, I’m going to go on a bit. Maybe it will seal your faith in De Bortoli – the tall poppy label hiding behind this boutique little number. They’ve always been able to work a little magic with Pinot Noir – whether you’re looking at what they do with Phi, the Yarra Valley Reserve range and even good old Gulf Station and Windy Peak (these are available in the UAE). I’d happily raise a flag to them and state they are the most consistent producers of Pinot Noir in Australia at a wide range of price points.

Now. The wine. I’m still sipping it as I write, although I’m sure it will not last long. Considering I’m at my computer and enjoying it so much, I’ve done a little Google search. I’m not the only one who’s loved this – not surprising. What IS surprising is that the reviews I have read do not seem to reflect the wine I’ve currently got in my glass. Well not entirely. But is this a reflection on the reviewer, the timing, the bottling or the grape?

That’s the amazing thing about Pinot. It’s so deliciously volatile and as easy to upset as the princess and the pea. That’s why it changes so much from year to year in the bottle. Why it tastes so varied in different glasses, and why it even tastes different in the same glass depending on how much is in it, and how long it’s been in there. It’s why the fruit character is so deeply affected by the quality of the cork, the level of brett and the strength of the phenols. It’s why everyone who has any great love of wine almost always ends up adoring Pinot Noir over almost any other grape.

Can you tell I’m enjoying this?

What I can taste is strawberries, and amazingly, not a single reviewer has mentioned them. But they are so strong, they’re not only jumping out of the glass, freshly picked from the field, but also appearing deep in the finish, jammy or preserved. The other reviewers found leaf, spice, rose petals, red currants and bacon. I don’t really get this. Sure, there’s a little smoke (bacon), and maybe some tobacco (leaf), and I see what one guy means by the rose petals – it’s delicate, more so than many Pinot Noirs from this region. There is definitely a little spice – pimento-like with a touch of black pepper, I would say.

But what it comes down to is always personal in the details, and what really matters is that the wine is balanced. It has great sweet fruit on the front, which is weighted by savoury flavour and acid through the palate. The tannins are impeccably fine (all reviewers agree on this). It’s complex but not difficult – just how I like a pinot. And how everybody should.

Buy it.

Drink now and for 5 years
Not available in UAE – purchased in Australia for $37
18/20

Some other suggestions or opinion to add? Please comment