Pinot Noir in Pemberton
Pinot Noir has been produced since the Roman times in Burgundy, France – now home to some of the world's most famous, collectable and expensive red wines.
From 1,000 AD, monks in the region kept meticulous records regarding vineyard management and weather events across vintages, carefully noting how any changes affected the resulting Pinot Noir wines each year. Essentially, these records created the world’s first harvest reports, simultaneously inventing the idea of terroir across each tiny appellation in Burgundy.
These monks were also focused on quality over quantity, and it is the renowned scarcity of some of the top Burgundian Pinot Noir which makes these wines so highly sought after around the world.
This obsession has led to many winemakers around the globe planting Pinot Noir in an attempt to find another spectacular terroir expression of this delicate wine. A number of countries have successfully managed this, including New Zealand, the US, Chile, Germany and at home in Australia.
Fun fact: Did you know that Pinot Noir is the grandparent of Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc, and a great-grandparent of Cabernet Sauvignon?
Why is Pinot Noir so difficult to grow?
Pinot Noir is a very particular grape. James Halliday once said: "The first problem with Pinot is that it is the most reluctant traveler of all the classic grape varieties. But when it finds a home, it settles in for the long run."
The grapes are thin-skinned and this, alongside the tight cone-shaped bunches, mean that the fruit is susceptible to disease and rot. Not only that, but this fickle variety needs lots of sunshine, however if it gets too hot, the thin-skinned grapes will wither in the heat.
Extremely careful vineyard management techniques are needed to ensure that high-quality fruit is ripened sufficiently every year.
Pinot Noir in Pemberton
As one of Australia's most exciting up and coming wine regions, Pemberton has become synonymous with high-quality, cool climate wines – particularly Pinot Noir.
On the suitability of the climate, Smithbrook Winemaker Ben Rector said: "While Pemberton sits on the doorstep of the maritime Margaret River region, the styles of wines produced are invariably different due to its continental cool climate. The warm days and cool nights are especially suited to the production of our premium Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, where mild daytime temperatures help promote and retain varietal fruit flavours, with retention of acids critical for these styles."
When speaking on the unique Pemberton terroir and how this can be reflected in the resulting wines, Ben said: "I love that Smithbrook represents the soil and terroir in which the vines are grown. All of the wines produced are 100% sourced from our Pemberton estate vineyard, so the wines really speak of their origin."
This bright and crunchy Pinot Noir is a fast favourite of both Winemaker Ben and Head Viticulturist John Fogarty.
"The Single Vineyard Pinot Noir keeps getting better and better. Bright and lifted aromatics – unmistakably Pinot with wild strawberry, cherry, and forest floor savouriness. Soft and jubey flavour profile, with just a hint of sweetness, complements of the seasoned new oak. Quaffable and serious at the same time, drink it while young and fresh."
– Winemaker Ben Rector
"Smithbrook Pinot is always a favourite of mine, it expresses the terroir of the site best. More so at this time of the year, a nice fire, a glass of Pinot and some Smithbrook truffles watching the rain fall across the valley here."
– Viticulturist John Fogarty
"From this eponymous pioneering Pemberton vineyard. It’s a joy to see this label thriving under the Fogarty Wine Group. This wine is packed with ripe Pinot character from rhubarb to raspberry with a dusting of whole bunch spice and regional smoky notes. The palate is medium bodied and well calibrated to be plush and warming with precise fine tannins. Best for early drinking and can be enjoyed over the next 4 years. Top Rated."
– 93 Points, The West Australian Wine Guide 2023
"Aromas of sliced strawberries, grated nutmeg, moss and chicory root. Medium-bodied with silky tannins and texture. Bright and fresh with strawberry and cherry character. A hint of porcini at the finish. Subtle length here. Refreshing."
– 92 Points, James Suckling 2022
For a limited time, purchase 5 bottles and receive a bonus bottle of Pinot Noir! Simply add 6 bottles to your cart for this automatic discount to apply. Shop this delicious Pemberton Pinot Noir here.