2015 Timo Mayer, Pinot Noir, Close Planted, Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia.
The sexy red and blue fruited ruby red hued Close Planted Pinot Noir from Timo Mayer is sourced from one acre of Pinot Noir on his Yarra Valley estate, planted in the red rocky volcanic and sedimentary soils of this region of Victoria, a cool climate zone in Australia in a high density plot that produces tiny amounts of fruit per vine, that delivers sublime concentration and complexity as this 2015 version shows off with great effect. Making a selection of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo and Gamay, Timo Mayer, who came from Germany, describes his winemaking philosophy as “bring back the funk” handcrafts single vineyard estate wines exclusively and these wines are wildly followed by his almost rabid fans and it is really hard to get your hands on them, especially in the States. Mayer believes, as he notes, that wines are made in the vineyard and therefore he tries to interfere as little as possible in the natural winemaking process and his wines are unfined and unfiltered to show the true expression of the Mayer farm’s terroir. This medium bodied Close Planted Pinot really develops in the glass with air and is riveting in its performance, tasted along with an amazing set of elite California and Burgundy Pinots in the same price class, this Mayer really held its own, and it gave me a real reference point for fair judgement, I frankly love this wine, it’s up to the hype.
The 2015 Pinot is slightly reductive and spicy with whole bunch character and a lovely lingering sense of fruit and floral tones, this is very impressive stuff with succulent and tangy red fruits, wild herb, earth and a whisper of French oak. The layering is beautiful with silky tannins and vibrant acidity that highlights each flavor detail with strawberry, black cherry, plum, pomegranate and vine picked bramble berry along with dried violets, orange tea, mineral flintiness and a nice saline note. One of Timo’s importers notes, he left his native Germany for the Yarra Valley many years ago, and he organically farms a small 2.5 hectare plot called Bloody Hill, as Timo adds “because it’s bloody steep.” Mayer produces wines that go toward elegance and purity over muscle and showiness and he is unafraid to show utter transparency and earthiness in his wines. His signature style, is in the use of whole-cluster fermentations, that he says increases complexity and giving silkier tannins and freshness. His wines have become legendary and this wine is considered some of Australia’s best Pinot Noir, which I can only agree for what I’ve tasted over the years, this is some intriguing juice. It’s hard to argue that Timo Mayer’s wines are great values at the price we have to pay in the States, but boy howdy they are, as this wine proves they are lust inducing gems.
($110 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive