Airlie Bank dares to treat drinkers with respect by delivering wines that are delicious and true - as well as remarkably good value. Tim Shand and the team at Punt Road Winery enjoy freedom to push boundaries. Their small-batch ethos has led to a great deal of creativity and ever-decreasing doses of sulphur. Nothing is off the cards when they sniff an opportunity to make a more compelling wine, as demonstrated by its 100% whole bunch Cab Franc and goon-bag fermented Sauvignon Blanc. Pure drinking pleasure is the one-point manifesto of Airlie Bank, and the thirsty take-up across the board shows that they're hitting the mark.
A fresh, delicate and but fruit-filled Pinot from the Punt Road team. The wine is a combination of Block 13 Clones 115, 777 and MV6, and Block 12 Clone 777 Pinot. Both blocks planted in 2006. There's some intriguing Campari bitterness from the bunch, as well as a graphite note. Rose petal, bergamot tea, orange rind. It's a touch more savoury than the 2015, and perhaps has greater pinosity. Made with Cru Beaujolais as an inspiration. Picked in the red fruit spectrum, minimal extraction, 20% whole bunch to add spice. Minimally fined and filtered.
I love a wine that’s made for drinking pleasure first and foremost, and these Airlie Bank wines have that goal set firmly in their sights, or more specifically, perky-faced winemaker Tim Shand does. Nuts, cherry, raspberry, a little spice and sap. Fresh, bright, straight-down-the-line and juicy, some fresh strawberry acidity flavour and brighness on the finish, along with a gentle rasp of tannin. In some respects, has the easy drinking appeal of a bigger rosé, if you take my meaning. Regardless, it’s fun and very good to drink. And it’s nearly springtime, as I write. Spot on. Tasted: Aug 19; Alcohol: 13%; Price: $23; Closure: Screwcap; Drink: 2019-2022+; Rated: 92 Points; Gary Walsh; The Wine Front
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