Saturday, March 14, 2009

De Bortoli Gulf Station Pinot Noir 2007

Sigh.  We were having salmon for dinner, and I was all primed up for another Yarra Valley Pinot Noir after having sampled this beauty, so I picked up this example from Sainsbury's. I noticed it because it was singled out on the shelf as a "featured wine", complete with a trademark, hyperbole-infused promotional blurb from Matt Skinner.

For me, this wine sums up all that is wrong with new world Pinot Noir. Although I generally prefer Burgundy, I'm not saying that all non-French Pinot is grim. I've had...well two...good examples of Pinot Noir outside Burgundy, and they were both Australian (reality check: I don't drink an awful lot of Burgundy - I can't afford it, but my favourite Pinots by far were Burgundies).

But this wine, from the fabled De Bortoli winery, doesn't really turn my crank. I don't think it's badly made or anything, and I think it's supposed to taste the way it does. I just don't like it. It's almost as if the barnyardy Pinot-ness is overpowering the delicate fruit and finesse that good Pinot has to offer. I don't understand what people like about this. It has an intriguing bouquet - it's initially quite striking, a sort of alcohol-spiked, cooked strawberry jam. After a couple of sips though, I find myself thinking of things like hay and dirt.

Again, I don't think it's badly made, just a style that doesn't really appeal to me. It did go with the salmon though.

De Bortoli
Gulf Station Pinot Noir 2007
Yarra Valley, Australia


  1. I love this wine. It's delicate, delicious and just what I want from a Pinot Noir.

  2. Yes, it's definitely a personal preference thing. I also suspect that, as with Burgundy, quality increases dramatically with price.