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Early bottling, and tasting soon thereafter, hasn't robbed the stag of its antlers. Rather it sets the scene for what will be some exceptional pinots from the vintage. It has all the ingredients to flourish in bottle, and needs no excuses for its depth of perfectly balanced plum-infused flavours backed by ripe, fine tannins and a feather duster of French oak. Drink By: 2030; Price: $24.00; Alcohol: 13%; Rating: 95 Points; James Halliday

Special Value Star - James Halliday

I always like introducing a St Huberts wine as I can wheel out the 'established in 1862' bit of trivia. Of course, it wasn't until the 1960s that the estate, indeed the Yarra Valley, was resurrected. The Stag was introduced as a means to produce serious Pinot Noir at an affordable price. (Is that an oxymoron). If it is ever going to happen then 2015 is going to be the year. This wine achieves its seriousness, and more. 

The knock on lower priced Yarra Pinots is their lack of depth or flavour. No such issues here. Raspberries, cherry spice with nuances of forest floor, sap and earthy notes generally reserved for the premiums. In terms of Pinot, it is at least medium bodied with beautiful ripe fruit, fine supporting tannins and cleansing acidity ensuring wonderful texture. It is an excellent wine that will continue to improve in the short term. Indeed, it performs better after an hour ot two open. Drink: Now - 2020+; Rating: Excellent; BW; WineStar© January 2016

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