Andrew Graham at ozwinereview reviews Steels Gate 2012 Pinot Noir

Andrew Graham ( …

This is what he had to say;


Grapegrowing is a bitch (and a bargain Yarra Pinot)
Steels Gate Pinot Noir 2012 (Yarra Valley, Vic)
13.5%, Screwcap, $28

With just a few more subjects to go until my Masters (in Wine Technology and Viticulture) is finished, I’ve been considering getting into grapegrowing.

Actually, I’ve been thinking about not grapegrowing because, as wines like this show, it is very f’king hard.

Sure that sounds like a defeatist attitude, but how would you feel if 75% of your precious Pinot Noir crop was lost to birds? How do you get up in the morning after the realisation that you have but a hatful of a very good wine, while the birds enjoy the rest, flying away with bunches of dollars in their beaks?

Such is the context for this Pinot Noir, a new release from the fledgling Steels Gate operation of Steels Creek in the Yarra Valley. Produced from a mature vineyard with most of the fruit sold off to other wineries, this Pinot demonstrates just how much heartbreak this grapegrowing can entail.

As mentioned, whilst the majority of the grapes did go off with the birds, what was left was clearly very high quality, resulting in what is a perfectly proportioned, medium weight Pinot Noir, with lovely clear ripe fruit on nose and palate, lifted up by just enough creamy oak richness.

Fresh, vibrant, acid reinforced, yet still gentle, it is a fragrant and pretty wine that is missing only a little more power and complexity to really compete at the top tier. For $28/bottle, however, I wouldn’t complain too much.

As for grapegrowing? I think I’ll stick to writing about the stuff…

Source: Sample
Tasted: Feb 2014
Drink: 2014-2018+
Score: 18/20, 93/100
Would I buy it? Yes.

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