The Little Penguin Pinot Noir

The Little Penguin Pinot NoirWhen you reckon of wine from Australia you probably reckon of Shiraz first, as well you should.  Shiraz is Australia’s most planted variety, and it ranks second to France in shiraz/syrah in vines below cultivation.  But I’d be willing to bet that when Australian wine gets mentioned, the last varietal that you reckon of is pinot noir.  I mean, when was the last time you had a pinot noir from Australia?
The challenge of growing pinot outside of Burgundy has been well published, and Australia is no exception.  The southern parts of the country are very well suited to hardier varieties, such as cabernet sauvignon and the aforementioned shiraz, that aren’t as picky about climatic conditions as pinot is.  But Aussie wine-makers are becoming a small more adventurous with this variety, particularly in the cooler, southern parts of Victoria, like Yarra Valley and Mornington Penninsula.
But The Small Penguin is not sourcing their pinot grapes from these regions.  You have to head a small west from Victoria to the state of South Australia to locate their plantings.  The real estate there may not be as prestigious as in southern Victoria, but the conditions are similar, and I’m sure the lower rent helps The Small Penguin keep such an attractive fee.  We’ve reviewed their 2006 offering, and while we weren’t that enamored with the 2006, the 2010 vintage came recommended by one of the trusted wine shops I frequent. Read more