Ochota Barrels A Forest Pinot Noir 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
As an Oenology graduate from Adelaide University, Taras developed his craft at wineries such as Two Hands and MSV in the Barossa Valley, renowned for world class Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro. Prior to this, Taras was at Nepenthe in the Adelaide Hills, who have achieved numerous accolades such as ‘Best Chardonnay in the World’ at the London International Wine Fair.
The Adelaide Zone refers to the super zone in South Australia containing the Mount Lofty Ranges Zone (Adelaide Hills, Adelaide Plains and Clare Valley), Fleurieu Zone (Currency Creek, Kangaroo Island, Langhorne Creek, McLaren Vale, and Southern Fleurieu) and Barossa Zone (Barossa Valley and Eden Valley).
The Adelaide Hills region is distinguished and beautiful, offering a cool respite in the summer for Adelaide city dwellers. With vineyards planted fairly high in elevation at 1,500 to 1,800 feet, it is known for its particularly fine, citrus-driven Sauvignon blanc.
However, Piccadilly Valley, the part of Adelaide Hills closest to the city, was first staked out by a grower named Brian Croser, in the 1970s for a cool spot to grow Chardonnay, then uncommon in Australia. Today a good amount of the Chardonnay goes to winemakers outside of the region for blends. Not many wineries were ever permitted to build wineries here, since it is essentially an eastern suburb of the city.
Producers experiment with other cool-climate loving aromatic varieties like Pinot gris, Viognier and Riesling. Charming sparkling wine is also possible, which is made from Pinot noir and Chardonnay. On its north side, lower, west-facing slopes make full-bodied Shiraz.
The Adelaide Plains is a hot region northwest of the Adelaide Hills that produces simpler, value-driven wines.
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, not Pinot noir. 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 Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.