Have you done a vertical wine tasting before? And no I’m not simply meaning a tasting where you’re standing.
A vertical tasting is where you try the same wine but from different vintages. While in Perth, I was lucky enough to do a bit of a Below & Above Pinot Noir vertical tasting where we tried the 2013, 2014 and the 2015 (a big thanks to Kia from Below & Above for the 2 samples and the bottle Naomi kindly donated from her cellar).
Below & Above hail from WA’s Pemberton region (the vineyard is known as Thella Estate) and you may have heard the name if you’ve attended one of the Pinot Palooza events. In fact at both the Perth and Singapore Pinot Palooza events they won the People’s Choice awards last year.
These small batch wines are made by contract winemaker Bruce Dukes. What I love about Below & Above is that they have patience. They don’t release their wines to the market as soon as possible, but they hold on to them for a bit so that when they are poured into your glass, they are right in the zone of optimal drinking.
So let’s get stuck into our notes:
2013 Below & Above Pinot Noir
It’s a burgundy shade in the glass, slightly browner than the younger vintages. On the nose I get a wonderful oaky perfume with mellow whiffs of plums and cherries. In the mouth it’s a very refined Pinot with earthy tones, juicy raspberry acidity and soft mulberry coming through.
2014 Below & Above Pinot Noir
This one both Naomi and I were revisiting after sharing a bottle in November last year on our girls trip to Sydney for Wine Island (see my notes at the bottom of this post). This time around I found it rather savoury on the nose with a bit of smokiness however there’s still plenty of cherry fruits coming through and perhaps a little spice. In the mouth it has an ultra silky texture, elegant nature and a considerable length finish.
2015 Below & Above Pinot Noir
2015 is the latest vintage release for the Below & Above Pinot. Again I found plenty of cherry fruits coming through on the nose with some enticing oakiness and a hint of red liquorice. In the mouth it’s fresh and still incredibly youthful for a 4 year old Pinot yet it has that signature elegance I now associate with Below & Above Pinot.
It’s hard to pick a favourite from the 3 as I actually found them quite consistent. However saying that, they all have their little unique points of difference but overall all 3 can fill up my glass anytime *wink wink*.
Below & Above 2014 Pinot (tasted November 2018)
Naomi and I have met up in Sydney for a long weekend in November. And with her, she brought over a ton of WA goodies including this Below and Above Wine 2014 Pinot Noir from the heart of Pemberton’s Southern Forest Region.
The 2014 Pinot is a bright ruby red shade in the glass. I picked up notes of red liquorice, a sprinkling of baking spice, a hint of mint and cherries & plums on the nose. While in the mouth it’s wonderfully flavoursome with plenty of fruit and a deliciously smooth texture that’s topped off with a nice long finish. Yum!
Western Australia, you make bloody good wine!
All opinions are based on my own taste buds. Wine is subjective & always evolving, so make sure you drink what you enjoy! #tcweekdaywine