My friends and I embarked upon this tasting with an idea that we would do a full Picardy sweep across the vintages that we had at hand. (We looked at: 2009, 2014, 2015 Pinot Noir. 2008, 2009, 2015 Shiraz. 2007 and 2015 Merlot Cab / Cab. 2013 and 2104 Tetes.)
So there we were on a rainy Thursday night, piling through these wines, building a picture that quite frankly had us scratching our heads. What was materialising, was the dawning of something great: Picardy are in the midst of a purple patch.
Through the lens of pinot we saw that vintage 2013 was sensational. The pinot was tight, lean, spicy, concentrated and structured. 2014 gave us a touch more approachability, a touch more finesse, with structure and length for days. 2015 is off the richter. It is everything that is 2013 and 2014, and to complete them both - has a brightness of acidity, a clarity of fruit, and a life/vivacity that we could hardly believe.
The shiraz and the merlot blend too, have this same spirit about them. 2015 is a must see / must buy / must store / must drink vintage.
~ New Releases ~
2015 Picardy Pinot Noir, Pemberton
We looked at this alongside the 2014, which to date is, I believe, the strongest pinot release so far. That is, until we opened the 2015. It opens with the typical (and much loved) Picardy characters of black cherry, blood plum and green olive, fringed in lightly toasted, spicy, Burgundian oak. It is pretty. Pristine. Fragrant. On the palate it is lifted, alive, and incredibly long - the flavours mingle and, sort of, plume, through the finish. The fruit sits right on the back palate, languid as you like. The acidity is bright and refreshing. The texture in the mouth is something to note - there is a fine yet gravelly grip that keeps the jubilant flavours on the palate honest. The flavour is concentrated and intense, belying its pale colour, it is alive. The wine finishes with a final flick of pomegranate and cherry, a suggestion of spice form the fine oak, and a swoosh of cleansing acidity that ties it all together. Rockstar. Best yet - no question.
Very much in the style of Northern Rhone (not that we need to compare to other places to verify worth, but it does help to set the palate scene), this is silky, juicy, full of red berries, lifted fragrant fruit and enough savoury spice to bring this in perfectly balanced. This is a cool climate shiraz done well - it is elegant, ripe, structured and restrained. There is a black fruit undertow to the palate, laced with red apple skins, black pepper and star anise. Wonderful length and texture, it just seems to linger and whisper suggestions long past the point of being swallowed.
2015 Merlot / Cabernet Sauvignon / Cabernet Franc
[ Merlot 61% / Cabernet Sauvignon 20% / Cabernet Franc 19% ]
As with every year that I look at this on release, it is luscious, silky, plush and rich - but it is never overdone or demanding. Redolent of red berries, poached raspberry, pink peppercorns and hints of cocoa, mulberry and vanilla pod. The 19% Cabernet Franc contributes structure, acidity, fragrance and blackcurrant to the mix. The oak, as with all of this release, is judged expertly and serves to sprinkle the fruit with spice, balance and structure.
Want to try these for yourself?
The Pannell family will be opening these and other current releases:
DATE: WEDNESDAY 14th JUNE 2017
TIME: 4:00 – 8:00PM
PLACE: SURROUND SOUNDS
102 STIRLING HIGHWAY
NEDLANDS WA 6009
(PARKING AT REAR)
See you there ;)