For the 2011 vintage we we’re given a special opportunity to acquire barrels all sourced from one 400 year old French oak tree from the forests of Northern France. Sadly, the tree had to be felled for structural reasons after some particularly bad weather, so at least it was being put to good use. Needless to say we jumped at this rare opportunity and employed these barrels to make one special wine; The Curly 2011 Pinot Noir. The barrels even have their own name; Chene De Beaux Monts, which translates into ‘Wood of the Beautiful Mountains’, and beautiful oak it is.
The cooler vintage of 2011 provided a unique expression of our site, and in regards to our Pinot Noir it allowed for an elegant, floral yet subtlety substantial wine with great persistence and length. The barrels themselves do not overplay the fruit, but enhance it with a gliding raft of savoury tannin and enhancing the innate spicy floral character of the 2011 vintage.This is our ideal in terms of the role of oak at Curly Flat, to accentuate the unique character of our vineyard.
Here is a video of the very 400 year old tree at various stages after felling, from being measured out, sawn into large sections, and ultimately the staves themselves being crafted.
From there we always like to remind people The Curly” is not a reserve wine, rather it is a particular batch that is different to the main blend. The first “The Curly” Pinot was the 2010 (97 points from Halliday) which was 100% whole bunch and 100% new oak. The 2011 continues the theme of 100% new oak but it is very special oak. What is also unique about this 400 year old oak is the tightness of its grain. The tighter the grain the more subtle and integrated the oak influence, and for us, and certainly in terms of “The Curly”, less is more. For our full tasting note please visit our website: http://www.curlyflat.com/wines/2011-the-curly-pinot-noir
Scores/Reviews for 2011 ‘The Curly’ Pinot Noir
95 Points – Drink to 2020 James Halliday 2015 Australian Wine Companion
93 Points – Campbell Mattinson The Wine Front (review below)
“The toughest of years has produced a beautiful drink. It’s light in colour but high on fragrance. It smells pretty much tremendous. Fistfuls of spice, autumn leaves, fresh cherries, wood. It tastes similarly, all washy and juicy and strung intricately together, a band on the run, in synch, in tune, on song. Spice, savouriness, leafiness; all are the spirit of the day. But there’s some sweetness too to the fruit, and it plays well. Not deep, not profound; uplifting.” Drink to 2019+
Chene De Beaux Montage