Picardy - elegance from Western Australia

picardy shiraz

I have just written up the fabulously stylish Picardy wines from Western Australia’s Pemberton region. You can read the full review here.

They’re just so elegant, and probably my favourite is the Shiraz:

Picardy Shiraz 2009 Pemberton, Western Australia
Initially tight on opening, this really blossoms after about an hour. A really elegant, almost Pinot-like Shiraz with smooth, sweet fresh berry and cherry fruit on the nose. The palate is fresh and a bit grippy with some spicy notes. Restrained, fruit-driven and balanced, with a hint of meatiness and some iodine notes. Very stylish. 94/100 (£22 www.auswineonline.co.uk)

Now lest you think I am one of the anti-flavour elite, let me say that there is a place for big wines, and that I enjoy big wines from time to time. There’s nothing wrong with a robust, tannic beast that needs 10 years to settle down. [I have less sympathy for over-ripe, oaky wines, but that's another issue.]

But it’s thrilling to see that Australia can make fine wines with elegance, balance and ageability, yet which still have an Australian character to them.

4 comments to Picardy – elegance from Western Australia

  • Stu

    There is so much good wine here in Australia, that it’s such a shame that so little of it makes it to the UK (or at least makes it onto more than one wine or mailing list/ specialist retailers shelf.

    It’s great to read of importers/ distributors like Cave de Pyrenees on these pages who certainly seem to be bringing in some of the more interesting ‘stuff’

    Hurrah for wines of complexity, finesse and structure.

  • I tried the Juniper Estate Shiraz from WA recently (04 I think) and it also reminded me of Pinot Noir. It was silky and fresh – the opposite of headbanger shiraz. Oddly the tasting notes on Adnams website seem to be describing a completely different wine.

    http://cellarandkitchen.adnams.co.uk/catalog/product/red-wines-western-australia/shiraz-juniper-estate

  • Greg Munyard

    I agree, their wines are elegant. I’m a big fan and have thought about why they might be so good.

    I reckon it is a result of many things: good vineyard location, excellent clones (especially for pinot noir and chardonnay), meticulous care of and respect for the vines (including use of natural composts, protecting good bugs etc.), a light hand in the winery (eg. no added tannins), a constant effort to do better with each vintage. They (Bill and Dan Pannell) have a lot of experience.

    I’ve noticed the last few vintages are showing the benefits of vine age, too. Plus, the region has been lucky with 5 really good to great vintages in a row – starting from 2007 – so I’m really keen to see the unreleased wines too. I’m keenly awaiting one that’s coming that may be their best wine ever ;-)

    Personal favourites: The Pinot Noirs (esp. the Tête de Cuvée)

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