50 dollars: Whisson lake "White label", Piccadilly Valley, Adelaide Hills 2012
When I was a student at Adelaide University, I was employed by Mark Whisson to help with the pruning of his 5 hectares of Pinot Noir grown on an extraordinarily steep slope that rises to 600m above sea level. In 2008 I was given the job of making the wine, which I did until vintage 2014. Whisson Lake is one of the most impressive vineyards in Australia and makes a rich, ripe Pinot Noir of unmistakable beauty.
Reviewed by Gary Walsh for The Wine Front, July 2014: They sent in a bottle of the 1999 Pinot Noir, which was still holding up very nicely. I’d imagine the vines, experience of site, and winemaking have also come along a bit since then too. Cool feel. Slight varnish and lift adds complexity, strawberry, fennel, light earthiness/mineral and a fair amount of spice – peppery even. It’s light bodied with particularly attractive acidity – pure and unforced in feel – very fine slatey tannin and gentle warmth and sweetness of strawberries mixing it up with mineral, sausage and spice. Charming. I suspect it will be best drinking over the next 6 years, though no problem holding it for longer. 94 points, drink 2014-2020+