O’Leary Walker Oakbank Pinot Noir 2020

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O’Leary Walker is principally known as a Clare Valley-based wine producer. Its foray into pinot noir and the Adelaide Hills is a good indication of the depth of experience of David O’Leary and Nick Walker, who both started their careers working at big Australian wine companies based in South Australia, making wine from almost every region in the state.

The O’Leary pinot vineyard at Oakbank was planted in 1990, so this wine comes to the drinker off 31year-old vines, close to old vine status. However, in vintage terms, it’s a youngster with earlier rather than later drinking on its mind.

Youthful bright red in colour. The scent of dried flowers joins red cherry, cranberry and floral musk rising from the glass.

The alcohol level of 12% is modest by pinot noir standards and indicates an equally modest ripeness of fruit, not to mention a brisk step to the wine courtesy of some prominent acidity. Turned earth, red cherry, plum produce a gentle, fruit-led liveliness that combines with subtle smoky oak influence from new French oak barriques.  An infusion of spice adds interest and depth.

Overall, there is a bright, crunchy appeal here, like biting into red cherries at the height of the season. Delicious.

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