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Shaw And Smith, Pinot Noir Adelaide Hills 2021

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Shaw And Smith Pinot Noir Adelaide Hills
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95 points James Suckling
"A beautifully crafted pinot, as always, with focused fruit, subtle undertones of cedar and leather and hints of foie gras. It’s full-bodied, but not heavy, with plenty of tension and focus. Bright acidity with depth and length. Impressive."

93 points Wine Enthusiast
An elegant and gentle expressive Pinot with plump red and blue fruit underscored by subtle floral, hoisin and a myriad dried herbs, leads to a silky, mid-weight palate. There’s lovely balance, structure and depth of flavor, here, with fine, chalky tannins.

Vinous Reverie Notes
Jancis Robinson - Previously Wine of the Week
"Pitting your wine against its peers in a blind tasting is a well-worn technique, but that doesn't undermine its riskiness. The objective is normally to demonstrate that ostensibly better and/or pricier wines can be outshone by the underdog, and it's a favourite tactic of New World producers who want to prove that European originals don't have the monopoly on quality.
This may not have been the explicit intention at the recent Shaw + Smith Pinot Noir workshop I attended here in Singapore, but in my book it led to a notable victory for the 2018 vintage of their Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir.
Nine wines were poured, which I tasted completely blind. The list included admired Pinot Noirs from Sonoma, Central Otago and three respectable burgundies, including an Échezeaux. Three Shaw + Smith wines were included: two from Adelaide Hills plus their Tolpuddle from Tasmania.
I top-scored three wines at 17.5: the Californian (Peay, Scallop Shelf 2016), another Australian (Giant Steps, Applejack 2018), and the Shaw + Smith – which also happens to be the cheapest of the three.
For less than £30, here is a Pinot Noir that outranked some of the best names in Burgundy (whose blushes I will spare, although the most eagle-eyed of you may recognise some labels in the background of the photograph above, taken after the wines were revealed).
It is a stylish, powerfully scented style where the addition of 20% whole bunches in the fermentation has created the sort of stemmy, herbal and soy flavours that I particularly like in Pinot Noir. In fact, the style reminded me of Domaine de la Côte in California's Sta Rita Hills, which is about the highest accolade I can bestow. Beneath that aromatic complexity is sturdy, bright red fruit that drives the long finish and suggests there is ample cellaring potential.
At the same time, however, the wine is entirely ready to drink, with barely tangible tannins and juicy acidity on the finish. Furthermore, it would be a shame to lose such vivid primary fruit, so I would have no reservation in drinking this wine now.
The technical information provided tells me that the vineyard is a cool site at 500 m (1,640 ft) elevation, with an average vine age of 19 years. The grapes were hand picked, with extended maceration both before and after fermentation. Maturation in French oak 500-litre puncheons, of which 30% were new, lasted for ten months and the wine was left unfined and unfiltered..."

Pinot Noir is the most temperamental of varieties and remains the ultimate challenge for many winemakers – Shaw + Smith has joined the quest albeit in a ‘small batch’ way. Testament to the quest is their purchase of the Lenswood vineyard in 2012, which offers mature vines with elevation and aspect. Site selection, the right clonal mix, miniscule yields and fastidious vineyard management are essential to success. The fruit for this wine is hand picked to avoid damage. A combination of whole berry and whole bunch fermentation is complemented by extended time on skins pre and post ferment to allow gentle extraction. Tasting Notes: Sourced by fruit from the Lenswood vineyard from the 2013 vintage on, the wine retains its characters of delicacy and charm. There is floral perfume on the nose, followed by a fresh, textured palate, with red cherry and spice notes. Snappy acidity and fine but grippy tannins keep it fresh and taut. Food Pairing: Roast guinea fowl breast & confit leg, boudin noir & quince.


South Australia
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Pinot Noir
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