Tim Shand heads a dynamic, progressive young winemaking team at this James Halliday five star-rated winery. Punt Road is a standard-bearer for wines of character, drinkability and a clear, proud Yarra Valley stamp. It has history on its side and cards stacked in its favour for a very bright future. The property was founded on site of the St. Huberts Vineyard planted in the 1860s by Paul and Hubert de Castella - some of the first vines in the Yarra Valley and one of the cornerstones of Australian fine-wine tradition. Punt Road owners the Napoleone family took advantage of a tremendous head start when they planted vineyards here in the 1980s. All these years later, Tim and the team bring restless perfectionism to this intimately understood site and its mature vines. The Punt Road wines have never been better.
Carefully hand-picked and whole bunch pressed; 100% of the juice was barrel fermented, a portion of which was fermented naturally. During 10 months maturation in French oak (20% new), some barrels were regularly stirred to build texture and complexity.
Oh, it’s juicy and flavoursome, fresh pineapple with some rice pudding kind of thing, dusted with a little cinnamon, but it’s also quite tight and controlled, some flint and citrus, good line, a pretty long finish of tang and flinty feels. It’s sunshine and picnics, with a wee bit of savoury stuff in the aftertaste. Value. Value. Value. And it’ll likely be better again with a bit more time in bottle. Tasted: May 2020; Alcohol: 13%; Price: $24; Closure: Screwcap; Drink: 2020-2024; Rated: 92 Points; Gary Walsh; The Wine Front
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