[one-half-first]From their website - Single vineyard wine from Yellingbo, at the Southern end of the Yarra Valley. Cane pruned MV6 clone on volcanic red soil with Nth Eastern aspect at 200m elevation. 30% whole bunches. Cold soak and fermentation in open fermenters. Selected yeast. Hand plunged. Large format oak. 30% new Damy Alliers French oak for 11 months on lees. Tasted frequently touched rarely.
Lovey delicate pale cherry red colour. Nose reveals cherries, minerals, some hints of cassis amd lovely smokey forest aromas. Palate has lovely structure and weight, great length and finesse. This is not a dark heavy weight Pinot, It is all finesse and elegance with substantial length. Impressive indeed. Certainly in the Upper Yarra Valley style and has similarities to Mac Forbes style.$55.00 94/100 [/one-half-first][one-half][/one-half]
[one-half-first]Different to the Swallowfield, more nervous, hints of cherry raspberry, sinewy. Really complex and really interesting. Evolves in the glass. Tight for sure – cherry and perfume – hints of smoke – undergrowth – restrained subtle tannins – just waiting to explode. Reminds me a little of the Mac Forbes Woori. Minerals and forest, with a lovely base of red fruit running across the palate. Sensational. From east facing volcanic soils in Gladysdale. The Willowlake Pinot is from north facing vineyard in Gladysdale. 94/100[/one-half-first][one-half][/one-half]
Color is a ruby red – hints of tawny – not dark or deep. Nose reveals lots of spice, smoke, forest floor, minerals – very much a savory saline style. Palate is again savory – complex and long but in a very spicy style. There is not much red fruit showing at the moment – so if you are after a cherry perfume lifted style of Pinot – this is NOT the one. I would have liked to see a little more red fruit generosity on the mid palate. Is this the terroir showing itself or the hand of the winemaker? This will probably improve over the next 12 months. Still a very classy complex Pinot with great length and texture. The Swallowfield has similarities to the Mayer Granite and I believe they are both sourced from the same north facing red volcanic vineyard in Gembrook. 93/100
Color can be quite deceptive here. Quite a pale cherry red which extends to the rim. Nose has hints of classic Gippsland forest floor and earth. As the wine breathes we see some cherry and red fruit aromas evolve. The palate reveals the same – lovely acidity – not too ripe – hints of minerals and smoke – lovely length. This is what good Pinot is all about. Never dark, never extracted, never over oaked, never over-ripe, never over whole bunched. Real finesse, elegance and purity. 94/100
There are three Pinot Noirs in this series, Mornington, Gippsland and Yarra Valley. All are well made and are great valley at the $17 mark – but they are different. The Mornington has lovely bright sour cherry and spice with nice length and purity.92/100 The Gippsland has some darker red fruits but with great width and perfect balance. 92/100 The Yarra Valley is the ripest of the trio with plums and hints of herbaciousness. 90/100
The color is a medium dark cherry red – with nice intensity all the way to the rim. The nose opens up very reductive and closed. Over a few days of breathing this eventually cleaned up but sadly no real interesting aromas showed themselves. The palate is in dark, savory, extracted flavor spectrum. No real sweetness or interesting red fruits developed over many days of breathing. A pinched tough style – maybe a wine for the cellar – but on this showing it is a little disappointing. 88/100
From Mornington Peninsula. Nice brick red color. Nose leaps out with spice and red fruits. There is some subtle oak on the nose but it is well controlled. Lovely cherries and forest on the long palate. Savoury and long but with some nice pure red fruit complexity. Sophisticated and elegant. Sensational stuff. A classic Mornington style which is getting difficult to find these days. 93/100 $40
From Huon Valley Tasmania fruit. Color is a beautiful cherry red with nice viscosity. The aromas are a little weird. I get capsicum and vegetal aromas – which to me mean a number of possibilities. Capsicum means there are unripe elements somewhere in the link. Either the site is too cold, canopy management, picked too early or green whole bunch. The palate has some nice raspberry cherry flavours for sure with reasonable intensity, but there is an underlying hardness and greenness which renders the wine hard and chunky and leaves me underwhelmed. Maybe age will help to resolve some of these characteristics – but not for me. A little disappointing. 86/100 $45 Alc 13.0%
North facing 85 metre altitude vineyard on stoney, predominately iron rich soils. 13.0% alc/vol.
A more sophisticated elegant style, some nice sour cherry, spice and forest aromas, not too dark or extracted, not overly concentrated but well balanced with good precision. Has a little funk and spice. Not a long term keeper – drinks well now. Certainly a nice drink and my favourite out of the three Allies that I have tasted. But still a little under delivery for the price. $40 92/100
“The fruit for this wine comes from Teurong. The vineyard is north facing, at an altitude of 30 metres on sandy soils. A warmer part of the peninsula, Teurong typically makes robust, rich and opulent wines. 13.5% Alc/Vol.”
The back label is quite correct – this is rich, opulent, beefy, fat, extracted and over oaked. There is not a lot of finesse or elegance here. In my opinion this is too ripe – I think grapes were picked too late by maybe a week. If you like your Pinot fat and ripe, you will like this a lot – but not my style – 88/100. Over priced at $40.