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Dalrymple Cottage Block Pinot Noir 2013
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
After working for some of the most diverse and exciting wine regions around the world, Peter Caldwell has returned to his roots. Born in country New South Wales and raised on a farm in Tasmania, Peter fell in love with the wine industry while working with Tasmanian wine pioneer Graham Wiltshire at Heemskerk. In fact, the young Caldwell peppered his mentor with so many questions that it was Wiltshire who suggested Peter move to South Australia and study winemaking at Roseworthy Agricultural College.
Following his studies Peter consolidated his knowledge by working for wineries in Burgundy, Bordeaux, California and New Zealand, before returning to Tasmania to take up a position as winemaker/viticulturist with Josef Chromy Wines. Passionate about the continued potential of the Australian wine industry, Peter now brings his experience to Dalrymple and the intricacies and delicacies of Pinot Noir.
Directly south of the city of Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula wine region, the cool-climate island of Tasmania has earned an honorable reputation as the country’s finest producer of sparkling wine. Naturally the region also excels in top quality still wines from Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Riesling, all distinguished because of a high natural acidity. Most of the Tasmania vineyards cluster around the eastern side of the island from north to south.
One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).
In the Glass
Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.
Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.
For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.