West Australian vigneron Vic Peos laughs when remembering how wine colleagues in Margaret River told him to pull out his pinot noir vines 15 years ago.
The Peos family planted vines amid the forests of Manjimup in the fertile southwest of WA in 1996 and was advised that the cool-climate region would be ideal for chardonnay, merlot and shiraz but perhaps not so well-suited to pinot and cabernet.
The seasons have proven the sceptics wrong: it’s Peos Estate’s pinot and cabernet that have become the flagwavers, scoring awards from wine judges and winning fans at the cellar door.
“To be honest we can’t keep up – people have been waiting for the new pinot and it is just smoking out the door,” says Vic, who runs the winemaking operation with his brothers John, Kon and Chris.
The 2022 Peos Estate Single Vineyard Four Kings Manjimup Pinot Noir leads The Australian Wine Club’s line-up of four pinots this week, including a beguiling Burgundy being offered in the mixed dozen for less than half its normal price (see below).
Pinot’s lighter style and slightly lower alcohol than shiraz and cabernet, combined with trademark flavours of cherries and strawberries, have seen the wine soar in popularity in recent years.
For the Peos family, Manjimup has been home since grandfather PY Peos immigrated from Macedonia 90 years ago, attracted by its rich soils and ideal crop-growing weather.
Although PY had cultivated grapes and made wine in Macedonia, it wasn’t until the 1990s that the boys were able to create their dream vineyard as a legacy to their father, Jim Peos, and grandfather.
“We have quite a unique location,” Vic says. “When it comes to pinot you need a cold site and that’s what we have.
“You get warm days but the cold nights give the vines a rest, which is ideal to enable even, gradual ripening of the grapes.”
Pinot has a well-deserved reputation as a finicky grape to work with.
“It’s actually easy to grow pinot in our vineyards – it’s an early ripening variety and our weather tends to be pretty consistent during the ripening period,” Vic says.
“But pinot can have a mind of its own in the winery – there is a reason it’s called the heartbreak grape. But we think we’ve come to understand the variety better over the years.
“To me, a good pinot is just so easy to drink – it’s not overbearing, it won’t blow your head. It’s the perfect wine to have with a lovely meal.”
Rich, plush pinot, with red currants, plums and raspberries driving the flavour profile.
Fleshy fruit on the palate flecked with hints of mushroom and cardamom spice, with clean acid pushing to a lingering finish and a tangy exclamation point.
Matured in new and old French oak. Dangerously easy to drink.
13.5 per cent alc; RRP $40 a bottle.
Regarded as a rising star of Burgundy, David Duband has 20 vintages of experience to draw on after taking over his family domaine at a young age. The Louis Auguste 2020 (named after his son) exudes freshness, with red cherry aromas rising from the glass and hints of wild roses and spice.
Nicely weighted in the mouth with subtle red fruit flavours mingling with mixed herbs and a hint of forest floor earthiness. Soft tannins carry through to a lingering finish.
The fruit comes from vines of up to 55 years in age, grown in the high altitude of Hautes Cotes de Nuits, west of Cotes de Nuits.
Decant for at least an hour to experience the full flavour profile. 14 per cent alc; RRP $85 a bottle.
An old-world style of pinot noir where neither fruit sweetness nor savoury characters dominate but combine to create a smooth, supple drinking experience.
You’ll find cherry and raspberry flavours woven together with smoked meats, almonds, cloves and a hint of espresso coffee.
Lightly bodied with lovely texture. 95 points from Wine Orbit.
12.5 per cent alc; RRP $30 a bottle.
This is cool-climate pinot from vines planted about 40 years ago in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains.
Expressive aromas of strawberries, spring flowers, herbs and vanilla-infused spice introduce a juicy palate flowing with red fruits, earthy, savoury notes and a hint of orange zest.
Grippy tannins. Refreshing natural acidity forms the backbone. Pair with duck confit for a weekend feast.
13 per cent alc; RRP $45 a bottle.
SPECIAL PINOT DOZEN Three bottles of each wine above for $34.99 a bottle. SAVE $180 a dozen.
Order by simply clicking the links to our online store or telephone 1300 765 359 Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm AEST. Deals are available only while stocks last. The Australian Wine Club is a commercial partnership with Laithwaites Wine, LIQP770016550. Stockhead is partnering with The Australian Wine Club on this offer.
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