Shaw + Smith Pinot Workshop 2015 – 10 benchmark Pinots from around the world

Shaw + Smith Pinot Workshop 2015 – 10 benchmark Pinots from around the world

I'll always admire a winery that puts their wines up non-blind against the benchmarks of the world.

I mean, it's one thing to upstage with the subterfuge of a wine served blind, but it takes confidence to do the same with a sighted tasting. Even more confidence is required when your winery doesn't have the longest history with Pinot Noir, with Shaw & Smith's reputation more focused upon Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay rather than Pinot Noir.

Still, as the tasting below shows, the Shaw & Smith Pinot has come along in leaps and bounds in recent years, with 2013 easily the best vintage to date (even if it's still not quite 'there').

Couple that with the new Tolpuddle Vineyard Pinot Noir and it suddenly makes much more sense that Martin Shaw & Michael Hill-Smith have decided to focus on Pinot Noir for this Workshop.

As an aside, there is some serious generosity behind a tasting like this. Sure, it's a PR exercise, but the sales push is never on with Michael and Martin, and the expense involved would be hefty. Wineries like Shaw + Smith or Voyager (with their annual masterclass) ought to be commended for putting on annual comparative tastings like this, as I think we all benefit – winemakers, trade, media. Everyone.

More please.

The following wines then were tasted yesterday in a relaxed, masterclass style event at Prince Wine Store's new Sydney outpost. It was freezing in the backroom and I was just in a t-shirt (whoops), but I don't think it affected how the wines tasted. Just made me look like a cold idiot…

Wines

Notes are as written on the day. Extra bits in italics.

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Australian Wine Review

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