Ah, pinot noir… Is there a more unforgiving grape? Chardonnay, perhaps, but in the reds I find a pinot can be either an utter disappointment or a complete delight.
It has become the wine that I hunt.
My wife and I were in the Great Western district, and there are only a handful of wineries around. One family- the Best family, with a capital B because it is their name- started two of them.
First on the list? Best’s Great Western.
The day was average- hot, muggy and wet- and we had spent half the morning just trying to find a bowl of hot chips. We weren’t in the most promising mood, because this was the country and sometimes the country is charming and sometimes it isn’t. That day? We were lucking out in all directions (although we did find decent coffee.) So when we drove down Best’s driveway, I was half expecting to find a sign that read: closed.
Thankfully, my grumpiness was misplaced. The cellar door was open. We went inside, out of the rain.
The charming barn-like atmosphere made me feel at home right away. There was an old piano, old photos. It has the air of a museum in a western, and it was great.
But onto the wine… There was a lot to try (including sparkling shiraz, which is what the area is known for) and there were a few that were top class. In terms of style, there wasn’t anything too adventurous (except the Nursery Dry Red, which contains some grape styles that remain unidentified, as well as a dozen or so known varities. An interesting wine, and my wife loved it.)
But their pinot… Wow. I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I went in with few pre-conceived ideas. I was rewarded. A delightful wine, and it hit all the notes a good pinot noir should. The colour is quite light, and the taste is supurb. It has that lingering feeling that makes you want another sip, just to confirm that you were right the first time.
So, an absolute standout of a wine, and completely unexpected.
And after that, the day just kept getting better. Surely you can’t ask for anymore in a wine? It parted the clouds, it brought out the sun, it banished the rain. If it had been a dog, I would have patted it.
So make a note: if you see Best’s Great Western Pinot Noir on the shelves, give the bottle a little pat and then take it home and adopt it.