Tillie J Yarra Valley Pinot Noir came about through the young winemaker program at No. 7 in Healesville. This allows a talented group of young winemakers to be mentored through the process of creating their first wine. No. 7 also buys half of their first wine to sell and promote through their venues. Tillie sourced two tonnes of Pinot Noir from the Helen’s Hill vineyard for her first wine. Upon opening the Tillie J Yarra Valley Pinot Noir doesn’t smell like your normal cherry/strawberry and rose petals kind of Yarra Pinot. It is dark and restrained with some meaty, oaky, spicy and dark cherries but there is the promise of much more to come with so air. Immediately the palate has a richness and is a hint tart. As this Pinot opens up the flavours evolve, there are hints of tropical fruits, aniseed, and ultra-fine tannins. Not only is this a great wine to drink, it will get better if you let it sit in the bottle. Drink it from now, but I’d be keen to see some in 10 years. Overall this seems like the start of something and you need to get on board.
A region that is just too big to generalise about. The difference between Upper and Lower Yarra can be the ability to ripen some grapes or not. Great wines are made in the Yarra but it is best to know the producers.
This is the most elusive grape. It is relatively early ripening and extremely sensitive to terroir. Its perfect place on earth is the Cote d’Or in Burgundy. So haunting are great red Burgundy’s charms that growers everywhere try to emulate them. Pinot Noir is not just a one-trick pony, it can make great reds, rosé, sparkling and even sweet wines, whites on occasion and I’ve tasted a decent fortified Pinot Noir too.