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Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir 2010

Pinot Noir from Yarra Valley, Australia
  • JH93
13.5% ABV
  • RP90
  • WE89
  • WS88
  • WS87
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Medium red with purple hues. On the nose, vibrant cherry fruit characters are underpinned by savory, gamey notes and spice. Attractive French oak is evident, but does not dominate. Medium-bodied in style, the wine has great texture, elegance and length. Fine chalky tannins provide structure to the palate and are complemented by hints of whole bunch stalk and fine grained French oak. Ripe fruit characters of cherry and raspberry are evident with gamey and savory overtones.

Critical Acclaim

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JH 93
Australian Wine Companion
Mid-garnet, purple rim; a vibrant and fresh bouquet filled with black cherry, spice and a mere suggestion of spicy stem; the palate is silky and approachable, with seductive levels of sweet fruit, plenty of fine grained tannin as backbone and a long, toasty finish.
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Coldstream Hills

Coldstream Hills

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Coldstream Hills, Yarra Valley, Australia
2010 Pinot Noir
Coldstream Hills was established in 1985 by James and Suzanne Halliday. From its initial vintage of 450 cases it has grown to become one of Australia's leading small wineries, its wines sold in some 16 countries and a reputation out of all proportion to its size.

Situated in the cool and beautiful Yarra Valley, about one hour's drive east of Melbourne, its steep, close-planted vineyards have become a signature of the region. So too have its wines (most notably Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs) which reflect a climate cooler than Bordeaux and a little warmer than Burgundy.

France too provides all the oak barriques (1500, but increasing year by year) and no small amount of inspiration for the winemaking team of James Halliday and, Paul Lapsley.

The wines are quite literally, hand made, mainly using small open fermenters (of three to four tonnes capacity) for the red wines, while the white wines are barrel fermented. Notwithstanding the increasing production, there has been and will be no significant change in the winemaking techniques or philosophies inherent to Coldstream Hills.

These techniques are directed to making wines, which are characterised by elegance and finesse, by silky supple texture, length of flavour, subtle oak and the ability to develop extra dimensions of complexity with bottle age. These are not weighty, extractive, tannic or alchoholic styles, however impressive well made examples of these may be.

Yarra Valley

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As the most important area of wine production in Victoria today, the Yarra Valley is most popular for its Pinot noir and Chardonnay, which account for over half of vineyard acreage. A gentle, rolling and rural region alongside the Margaret River, the Yarra Valley has a cool maritime with a lengthy growing season, perfect for these cool-climate varieties.

The warmer, Lower Yarra Valley in the north has sandy loam soils and produces a plush and fruity Pinot noir. The cooler, higher-elevation Upper Yarra Valley in the south has the soils composed of younger, red basalt and produces more angular and mineral-driven Pinot noir.

Yarra Valley Chardonnay is among the best in Australia. The modern style is stony and flinty rather than fat and tropical. Malolactic fermentation is rare, but while barrel fermentation is common, barrel maturation is restrained to preserve the floral aromatics and fresh citrus flavors for which this area’s Chardonnay is so appreciated. The best Yarra Valley Chardonnays display brilliant acidity, leesy characteristics, sweet citrus, stone fruit and flavors of ginger and spice.

Shiraz and Cabernet find success in parts of this region as well.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

GZT2414617_2010 Item# 114438