When I travelled to Sydney in February 2008 as International Judge at the Sydney Royal Wine Show, I was delighted to renew my aquaintance with fellow judge and winemaker Kate Goodman, whom I’d judged with previously at the McLaren Vale show in 2007.
Kate is in charge of wine making at Yarra Hills winery, not far from Melbourne in Australia’s Victoria region. So when I later travelled on to Yarra, a visit to Yarra Hills’ Punt Road winery was in order. Kate has been here since 2001, having previously worked for various wineries around Australia, and in Champagne and California. She has also recently worked a vintage with ace Spanish winemaker Telmo Rodriguez.
Kate’s personal favourite wine is Pinot Noir, and her refined style extends to the other varieties, white and red, within the Punt Road portfolio, as well as other wines she makes for Yarra Hills’ contract winemaking operation.
See wine-searcher for stockists of Punt Road wines.
Punt Road Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Gently aromatic and herbaceous with refined fruit and a nice racy character. Very nice acidity here and delightful passionfruit juiciness and green apple zing. 86/100. $20
Punt Road Pinot Gris 2007
Crisp, clean melon and apple fruit, a nice touch of oatmeally breadth. Big, juiciness, fine richness with very lightly honeyed weight and very nice, clean acidity. 88/100. $23
Punt Road Chardonnay 2006
Lovely oatmeal and gentle cashew nose, with a delicate, honeyed toastiness. Ery refined fruit, with a touch of pineapple and a clean stone fruit character. The palate is quite full and luscious, but this has beautiful Brazil nut richness and very crisp lemon fruit long and fresh, in a beautiful Puligny style. 91/100. $23
Punt Road Botrytis Semillon
Fruit fro Grifith. Gorgeous pineapple chunk nose. Fine luscious honey and really fruit flavours. Liquidised apricot with delightful orangy acidity and zest. Fantastic. Stuff. 90/100. $32.
Punt Road Pinot Noir 2006
Very fragrant, with beautiful floral and cedary notes and plenty of exotic spice and smoky notes coming through. Moderate to pale colour. A certain earthiness too. Really nice fruit and lovely savoury length. 89/100. £10.99, Majestic.
Punt Road Shiraz 2005
Little leathery and spicy earth notes to bold, ripe mulberry and white-pepper edged fruit. Spice and cedary savouriness comes through in a flavourful, medium-bodied wine yet with real punch and staying power. Lovely. Stuff. 90/100. $25
Punt Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Meaty, earthy, slightly more baked quality, with spices and deep plummy fruit. Fine tannins. Very nice bright tannins and good acidity. 88/100. $25
Punt Road MVN Pinot Noir 2006
Vineyard selection, less than 200 cases. Refined blueberry fruit, with a certain density and concentration without extraction. Pure touch of vanillin, and a lovely fruit density. Fine cherry fruit and really nice. 91/100.