Priory Ridge Pinot Noir, Saint Helens, Tasmania 2016
But the Priory Ridge Pinot Noir 2016: Wow, what a wickedly enjoyable wine that launches itself at you from the glass. This has winemaker Brian Franklin's ballistic Pinot credentials stamped all over it as it erupts with dazzling ruby Pinot fruit, wrapped in layered whorls around an earthy heart. The tannin structure is ultra-fine and builds in plush textural folds as it crosses the medium-bodied palate, leading into a long and satisfying finish. This is classic Tasmanian Pinot Noir and a dead ringer for Premier Cru Burgundy. It's ready to drink now or over the next ten+ years.
This is surely the best vintage of Priory Ridge Pinot to date. The new 2016 has greater fruit purity and generosity than the 2014, but more structure and restraint than the 2013 and 2015. It is bang in the middle of the Pinot sweet spot.
To put this kind of quality in context, Vivino users gave an average score of 3.8 points (out of 5)to a basic red Burgundy from Domaine Bernard Dugat-Py, one of the biggest names in the Pinot business, and this’ll set you back about $105 per bottle(if you can find it at all).
In comparison, the new release Priory Ridge Pinot Noir from 2016 costs $34.95 per bottleand averages a score of 4.1 pointsfrom Vivino, which is in fact the same average score as was received by Bernard Dugat-Py’s Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes, although that costs around $200 per bottle.
Unlike big-gun Burgundy, Priory Ridge Pinot is also under screw cap and none of the big name critics (or even the little name critics) have ever tasted it (or heard of it) so I can’t give you any further third party recommendations there. But try it, it’s a killer new vintage from an exotically remote vineyard. You will be blown away.