Leeuwin Estate Pinot Noir for A$32

At a regular gathering of friends last week, our wine theme was “Unusual Australian Wines” and we certainly had some of those; Durif, Saignee Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo, Sparkling Rousanne, and Petit Verdot to name a few. At some stage the talk turned to Wendouree’s famous Shiraz blends of Shiraz Mataro and Shiraz Malbec.  Later in the week I decided to look up the grapes in the Wine Grapes book. Looked under “M”, but there’s nothing there for either Malbec or Mataro. Ah, yes of course, Mataro is better known as Mouvedre, that’s where it will be. Except no.

I think most of us have now heard that Zinfandel from California is actually Primitivo from Italy which is actually Tribidrag from Croatia. So following the same logic of calling a grape by its original source region, we find that Malbec is actually Cot from Cahors in France and Mataro/Mouvedre is actually Monastrell from Spain.

Somehow I can’t see Wendouree Shiraz Cot or Wendouree Shiraz Monastrell catching on.

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Reviewed wines from Artisan Cellars, Cornerstone Wines, Crystal Wines, Eve’s Spirits, Le Vigne, Monopole, Straits Wine, Peccavi Wines, The Local Nose, Underground Wines, Water & Wine, Wine Exchange Asia.

Another post where no deals get into the 5 star value category.  There’s some very good deals here, but none are outstanding.

2008 / Nashwauk / Wrecked / McLaren Vale / Shiraz / $100 at Straits Wine – This a big wine. Big in price, big in alcohol, and if my memory serves me correctly, big in bottle weight too. I’m guessing it was made for what was then the  lucrative US market for big, bold, in your face wines and you either like them like that or you don’t. James Halliday gives it 88 points saying it’s “raisiny and porty” and from him that’s not a compliment. Huon Hooke warned of its alcohol kick (it is after all stated at 16%, so it could legally be 17.5%) and gives it 89 points. If you’re a fan, none of this will matter. So how’s the pricing? OK-ish is the best I can say. It retailed at A$70 but what it is now I don’t know. The last Langton’s sale was of a 2006 vintage at $27 but that doesn’t really help with comparing this 2008. As I said, if you’re a fan, none of this will matter. BBI ♥♥♥

2011 / Morambro Creek / Jip Jip Rocks / Padthaway / Chardonnay / $38.50 at Cornerstone Wines. It’s listed at $36 but as far as I can tell, you’ll need to add GST to that price. With RRP of A$19, the pricing is OK but the Halliday rating of 89 pts keeps it at 3.5 stars. Drink now. BBI ♥♥♥

2009 / Layer Cake / McLaren Vale / Shiraz / $52 at Water & Wine and The Local Nose – Never heard of it? I’m not surprised. I can’t find a rating by any Australian raters, and I’m not surprised by that either.  You see, according to the website, this wine is made by Jayson Woodbridge of Hundred Acre Winery in the Napa Valley. Seems they fly out a team to McLaren Vale just to make this wine, which given its retail price of about US$15 seems an unusual strategy.  Ah yes, that retail price of US$15. Hard to reconcile that to S$52 for what is still an Australian wine isn’t it? If the retail price in Australia was A$15, then I’d expect this to come in at S$40 max. BBI ♥♥♥

2010 / Bushmere Estate / Classic / Gisborne / Chardonnay / $35 by the case at Underground Wines – Not a bad wine at Michael Cooper 4 stars, and with RRP of NZ$23, good value too. BBI ♥♥♥♥

2010 / Flametree / Embers / Margaret River / Cabernet Sauvignon / $44 at Crystal Wines and The Local Nose – A solid rating of 93 pts from James Halliday and a price that is spot on with its A$18 asking price gives it almost 4.5 stars, but not quite. BBI ♥♥♥♥

2009 / Tyrrell’s / Rufus Stone / Heathcote / Shiraz / $49.80 at Monopole and The Local Nose – A bit divisive this wine. Jeremy Oliver gives it 86 as does Huon Hooke. So far, not so good, but Halliday gives it 93 so I’m running with the higher rating.  Retails at about A$28 so pricing is honest. BBI ♥♥♥♥

2008 / Peccavi / No Regrets / Margaret River / Cabernet Merlot / $45 at Peccavi Wines and The Local Nose – The value’s getting better and the ratings OK at Halliday 90. Drink to 2018. BBI ♥♥♥♥

2009 / Brygon Reserve / Hummingbird / Margaret River / Shiraz / $46 or $40 by the half case at Wine Exchange Asia – No doubting the rating, Halliday 95 pts. RRP of A$18 so the price here is right where I would expect it to be. Drink to 2020. BBI ♥♥♥♥

2009 / Arlewood / Margaret River / Marsanne Rousanne / $31 cash & carry at Le Vigne – This wins today by the slimmest of margin and it’s all to do with the price. The wine’s no slouch with 90 pts from Wine Advocate (Lisa Perotti-Brown) but with a RRP of A$20 it romps in on a strict price basis. But it comes with a caveat. According to Wine Advocate and Halliday, it must be getting close to its optimal drinking time so if you’re tempted, don’t hang around. BBI ♥♥♥♥

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THE WAY WE WERE: 1986

How much were you paying for your wine in 1986? In Australia, for A$12, you could have bought one of those wonderful Lindemans Hunter River Bin series Chardonnays, for example the 1980 Bin 5788. For five bucks, you would have got a 1982 Tyrrell’s Long Flat Red, for A$15 a 1982 Limestone Ridge.

Spend a little over A$30 and you’d have got a 1975 Ch. Giscouts, a 1976 Ch. Beychevelle, a 1976 Ch. Grand Puy Lacoste, a 1978 Ch. Leoville Poyferre, or….a 1982 Leeuwin Estate Pinot Noir. A$32 for a Margaret River Pinot looks big money for 1986, even though the cpi adjustment tells us it’s only $76 today.

As far as I can tell, Leeuwin don’t make a Pinot Noir anymore.

1982 PN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I don’t know if rousanne is a pretty grape in the flesh, but it ain’t always so pretty in the glass. Sometimes it’s dense, as if you’re viewing it through gauze”. – Jeni Port writing on the difficulty (and success by some) of turning rousanne into a decent wine, in The Age, June 7th 2011.

 

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1 Response to “Leeuwin Estate Pinot Noir for A$32”


  1. 1 Graham Hayward April 22, 2013 at 1:45 am

    Liked your intro – didn’t know Cot & Malbec were the same! G.


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