Squitchy Lane Peter’s Block Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2018

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For the record, Squitchy Lane wines do not, in fact, hail from a Squitchy Lane address. What a pity. It’s such an evocative name with all manner of mysterious Harry Potter-like overtones. It would make perfect vinous symmetry.

The vineyard is in fact located on Medhurst Road in Coldstream, and the name comes from the finance company of same founded by vigneron and all-round AFL footy legend, Mike Fitzpatrick. It’s come a long way fast quality-wise by focussing on the great Valley triumvirate of chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir. The latter, here, comes up a treat.

It arrives all bright cherry red. The rising scent is pure, fresh, just-squished red and black cherries with a touch of dried herbs, but ostensibly all fruit power. Love the texture, it curls and folds around the tastebuds teasingly. There’s a liveliness to the wine, a real energy that belies some Valley talk about disease pressure, dry conditions and low-ish sugar levels in 2018. It focusses, quite rightly, on the mix of red berries and spice with a splash of dried herbs and, it must be said, a quiet interjection of oak which shows up in a sinewy tannin presence. Smart winemaking, top enjoyment here.

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