Pinot Noir is probably my favourite red varietal, but my penchant for the style is tempered somewhat by the price point of most good examples of the style. So when I recently cracked a bottle of the Sticks Yarra Valley Pinot Noir 2011 that a friend had left after a Sunday lunch, I assumed, given its drinkability, that I was enjoying a $40 to $50 bottle of plonk. It turns out that my friend is a bit of a cheapskate, but he’s also a very good judge of wine!
The Sticks Pinot Noir sells at only around $17 a bottle and calls Victoria’s Yarra Valley home. It’s extremely light but vibrant in the glass and shows on the palate a depth of red berried fruit well beyond what you’d expect given its timid pink edged hue. There are stewed rhubarb and spicy nutmeg characters as the wine touches the back palate and perhaps a fruit driven sweetness that is somewhat uncontrolled by the delicate (and perhaps, underdone) tannins at the finish.
The worst you can say is that it might benefit texturally and structurally from a bit more oak exposure, but at $17 a bottle it’s punching well above its weight.