I am a fan of the XO Wine Co Pinot for its balance of bright, fresh flavours, and the funk and earth it exhibits at the same time. Very much in a drink now style the XO Wine Co Pinot has partial carbonic maceration which adds to the lifted perfume, the floral notes, and the instant charm. The sappy, sour cherry edge in the XO Wine Co Pinot I attribute to the sites. Kuitpo is nothing like Piccadilly, which is what most people think of as classic Adelaide Hills Pinot. In fact, Kuipto is closer to McLaren Vale than the cool, high parts of the Hills.
XO Wine Co Pinot is perfect from drinking now and over the next few years. If you like savoury Pinot with a hint of funk, it is the wine for you. Pair XO Wine Co Pinot with Moroccan flavours.
XO Wine Co Pinot Noir Adelaide Hills 2020 Winery Notes
“This Kuitpo Pinot Noir is a blend from two vineyards in Kuitpo, Christmas Hill and Topnote. The blocks integrate seamlessly to produce a wine portraying the gradually shortening days, the subtle look of Autumn and the gently rolling sandy loam landscape draped in morning fog in which it’s grow.
Partial carbonic maceration adds a floral lift to the wine with subtle earthiness and fresh strawberry notes while a portion of whole bunch gives structure and spice while maintaining the vibrancy and varietal character of Pinot Noir.
XO Wine Co make small-batch wines from Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale. The goal is to be hands-off as much as possible while crafting wines that are drinkable, varietally true and express the site in which they have grown. Disappointingly for me, the ‘X‘ and ‘O’ refers to naughts and crosses, not hugs and kisses.
This is a big and varied region. Basically, it stretches from the top of the McLaren Vale all the way to the bottom of the Barossa. This means there is a big scope for climatic conditions. In the central part where its altitude is quite high, you can get some of the best sites in the world for Sparkling wine. In the slightly warmer parts of the centre, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme with Riesling, Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc worthy of honourable mentions.
Pinot Noir 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. Apart from the best reds in the world, you can find world-class Pinot Noir rosé, sparkling. You can even find sweet wines, whites on occasion and I’ve tasted a decent fortified Pinot Noir too.
The invasion of “Sunshine in a bottle” put Australian wine on the map. The fruity, easy-going, somewhat samey wines were endearing for a short time. Then the next big thing knocked them off their perch.
This forced producers to increase quality and emphasise the distinctive terroirs of Australia. Of which, there are many. And many more yet to be discovered.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is impressive. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fun fact; most of the colour for wines comes from the skins. There are only a handful of grapes that have red juice. Alicante is the most well known of these grapes.
By macerating the juice on the skins, the wine gains tannins, and flavours. Certain compounds change the chemistry of the wine too.
Red wines tend to have higher alcohol. More tannin and more oak flavours compared to other styles of wine. But the thousands of grapes and terroirs they grow in influence this.
The Wine Depository
I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.