Pinot Noir 2018 Hughes & Hughes ‘15% whole bunch’ Tasmania
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Tasmania, one of the most exciting places on the planet for tantalising Pinot Noir.
Sebastian Crowther, Master Sommelier
Pinot Noir (pee-no nwär), in the eyes of many wine lovers, the world over, is THE grape. A variety capable of evoking plentiful emotion, casting spells on the drinker, which keeps them searching for that same experience time after time. Unfortunately, it’s a grape that is also capable of great disappointment. Being a thin-skinned variety means that it needs the perfect climate, cool with a long growing season are important, but vintage conditions in these often-marginal climates can throw great variation in wine style and quality.
Pinot Noir is the red grape of Burgundy in France. Within this region it is capable of expressing minute differences in terroir and it’s where the grape reaches its greatest highs. The desire to emulate what happens in this region elsewhere around the world, by winemakers and grape growers, is obsessive, but few regions can succeed. Tasmania, offers a place to do just this. Its climate is ideal for ensuring this sensitive variety is able to reach its maximum potential.
This is a joint venture between brothers Matthew and Jonathan Hughes. Jonny is the winemaker in the family and spent many years learning his trade around the globe from New Zealand to Italy to Canada and all-around mainland Australia before settling on this southern Island. Most recently, before starting his own label, he was Assistant Winemaker at Moorilla Estate in Hobart (the winery attached to the famous art gallery MONA). Mewstone is the label designated for fruit grown on their own property and the Hughes & Hughes label is a newer second label which is used for wines made from fruit purchased from neighbours.
Bright and lifted fruit aromas pushing more towards the red fruits than black but with a little combination of both. Raspberry pops first, followed by sweet Morello cherry, summer strawberries and purple damson plum. Pinot Noir wouldn’t be right unless you have a backing combination of spice and flowers. This wine delivers. Rose and potpourri mingle amongst layers of nutmeg, vanilla and cinnamon. The palate is sleek, supple and elegant. Medium bodied, no more. Its juicy while still remaining serious. Very fine tannins coat your palate. There’s a persistent lingering, a fruit flavour that goes on and on. I feel this wine is ready to go, best enjoyed young, but it will develop some more complexity over the short term 3 – 5years. No need to decant, but do use some wide bowled Burgundy stems, if you have them. Don’t over think the food for this wine. Good Charcuterie plate with all your favourite cuts will do the job perfectly!