From left: De Bortoli Windy Peak Pinot Noir Yarra Valley 2011, Pooley Pinot Noir Coal River Valley 2011, Weingut Bernhard Huber Malterdinger Baden 2010 and Main Ridge Estate The Acre pinot Noir 2010.
UP TO $25
De Bortoli Windy Peak Pinot Noir Yarra Valley 2011, $14
EVERY time I taste this Windy Peak I wonder, ''How does De Bortoli make such a great easy-drinking pinot noir at this price?'' It has so much going for it, starting with an incredibly fragrant nose full of cherry fruit, earth, dried herbs and florals, too, but more savoury in profile. It's medium-weighted with a fine, smooth palate until the grippy, slightly puckering tannins kick in on the finish. A vibrant, terrific pinot for the price and one to drink over the next two years. Try it now with veal saltimbocca. Available from Dan Murphy's.
Pinot noir can be an ethereal drop. Photo: Darren James
UP TO $40
Pooley Pinot Noir Coal River Valley 2011, $35
THREE generations of the Pooley family have been growing grapes and making wine in Tasmania, and the result now is a formidable line-up of rieslings and pinot noir. This Coal River Valley 2011 pinot is a gorgeous drink. It's pure yet quite defined, with a core of juicy cherry and plum fruit, fragrant undergrowth and spice. It's precisely balanced, medium-bodied with fine, lacy tannins and cleansing acidity and the oak seamlessly measured. The quality belies the price - a bargain. From Cloudwine.
Weingut Bernhard Huber Malterdinger Baden 2010 $54
A COUPLE of years ago, I visited the affable Bernhard Huber in Baden, Germany, and tasted his stunning wines, in particular the pinot noirs. He regards this Malterdinger as a village or local wine, an easy drink, but it's by no means simple. The medium-bodied 2010 has very pretty aromatics, all florals and orange zest; earthy, too, with just a hint of stems and great acidity to cut through any rich roast duck. It's an incredibly lively wine, juicy, and a damn fine drink. From City Wine Shop.
Main Ridge Estate The Acre pinot Noir 2010, $60
NAT White is a master of Australian pinot noir - he's been making it since 1980 and planted it first on the Mornington Peninsula. Few come close to making pinot as ethereal as his Half Acre and The Acre. The first is slightly more structured; The Acre more medium-bodied and prettier. The '10 is delicately perfumed with fragrant forest floor, spice and a hint of menthol, and the oak is superbly integrated. The art of pinot noir is revealing its terroir without heavy-handedness. That sums up Main Ridge Estate. Available at the cellar door.