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2015 Maison L'Envoyé Pinot Noir Tasmania

SKU #1289473 91 points Vinous

 Light bright red. Lively aromas of red currant, raspberry, cinnamon and allspice carry a suave floral topnote. Light-bodied and energetic on the palate, offering tangy, spice-tinged red berry and rose pastille flavors and a refreshingly bitter hint of blood orange. Closes on a minerally note, displaying very strong persistence and lingering spiciness. (JR)  (10/2017)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 For a cool-climate Pinot Noir, this is ripe, rich and round. Its ample weight delivers broad, complex flavors of clove, cinnamon, black cherry, plum and cola, but its oaky overcoat may dissuade purists. Although the fruit comes from Tasmania, the wine was made on the mainland at Giant Steps in the Yarra Valley. Drink now–2023. (JC)  (2/2017)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Fragrant, creamy and supple, with sage, fresh earth and rosemary details to the spice and vanilla bean notes. The core flavors of candied cherry and strawberry linger. Drink now through 2026.  (11/2016)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Pale ruby-purple colored, the 2015 Pinot Noir has pretty red cherry, raspberry and gentle herb notes with a touch of forest floor. Fresh, elegant, fine and silky in the mouth, it is just a tad light on intensity and finish. (LPB)  (10/2016)

K&L Notes

Maison L’Envoyé, "The House of the Messenger," is a collaborative, cross-regional and pan-national Pinot Noir (Gamay and Chardonnay, too) effort from Mark Tarlov, founder of Evening Land, and importers Old Bridge Cellars (based in Napa). Burgundy's Louis-Michel Liger-Belai is consulting winemaker. Tasmania winemaker is Steve Flamsteed.

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Price: $17.99
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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.


- While it is true that the greatest strides in Australian winemaking have come in the last 30 years or so, commercial viticulture began as early as the 1820s and has developed uninterrupted ever since. The majority of the great wine regions are in the southeastern area of the continent, including Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, and Coonawarra in South Australia; Yarra Yarra Valley and Pyrenees in Victoria; and the Upper and Lower Hunter Valleys in New South Wales. Many of the wines from Southeastern Australia are based on Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon and various blends including Grenache and Mourvedre. In Western Australia, along the Margaret River, great strides are being made with Pinot Noir as well as Bordeaux-styled reds. There are also many world-class releases of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from the land Down Under, where Riesling also enjoys international acclaim. While many equate Aussie wines with “value,” there are more than a few extremely rare and pricey options, which never fail to earn the highest ratings from wine publications and critics throughout the world.