The Little Penguin Pinot Noir

australian wine  %tages 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 http://1000-facts-about-wine.com 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.

The nose of this wine is in fact quite pleasant, if a bit jammy for a pinot.  It’s a far weep from the 2006, and that’s a fantastic start.  The nose offers rich ripe strawberry and rhubarb, with hints of vanilla and allspice.  While I wouldn’t exactly say that The Small Penguin hits the mark in varietal character, it is certainly an enjoyable nose.  On the palate the wine offers set alight, yet smooth strawberry fruit.  Through the mid-palate the wine maintains it’s soft fruit and transitions abruptly to rich acidity, bordering http://1000-facts-about-wine.com on in fact being slightly sour in the end.  But it doesn’t upset the balance or the experience.
Overall, I loved this simpler expression of pinot noir, even if it isn’t the most complex of wines.  But to be honest, at this fee point, you would be hard pressed to find a better value in pinot, in my opinion.  So give this pinot-on-a-budget example a try.
A  Salute!
Wine: The Small Penguin
Variety: Pinot Noir
Vintage: 2010
Alcohol: 12%
Rating: 85
Fee:  $5.99

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