25 November 2010

Nepenthe 2008 The Good Doctor Pinot Noir

I attended a 40th birthday party recently with a top-shelf spread both of food and booze.

The evening started with cocktails and paparazzi-style photography on arrival, and I admit to partaking in a cheeky Cosmopolitan (purely to be polite of course). But while being polite is all well and good, because I also happened to be sporting a pink shirt, my more immediate concern was appearing to be of a persuasion that I most certainly am not. To avoid such blushes, and the unwanted attentions of a waiter named Sebastian, I switched quickly to a different type of red liquid which was served sans umbrella and in a more masculine glass.

The red in question was a pinot from Nepenthe in the Adelaide Hills and the bottle came dressed in a sharp black suit that looked to have been tailored especially for the occasion. I had myself a tasty bowlful and introduced myself to The Good Doctor before we repaired to our tables for dinner.

Dinner was excellent, and the Doctor, being a reasonably hefty and savoury fellow, lined up nicely against my slab of beef.

However, being the "plus one" on the invite meant I knew only a few people in the room and so when the mingling started after dinner, I found myself playing Robinson Crusoe with just The Doc (as I was now calling him) for company.

Happily, I soon made friends with the waitress as well; she being a young lady with improbably large Bristols and easy access to the Doctor's medicine cabinet. And so, over the next hour or so, The Doc and I became extremely well acquainted.

The diagnosis?

Well, I’ve got to say first up that it pours quite deep and dark for a pinot. It just looks like it has some real solid weight behind it.

The lifted florally hit of sweet fruitiness on the nose belies the substantial and savoury nature of the beast that is revealed in the drinking.

Now, when it comes to savoury pinot, I’m your Huckleberry. I love it. And this has all the very best earthiness and spice of the famed Martinborough examples.

It’s by no means a particularly finely tanninned or structured pinot, but it has genuine substance, wonderful flavour and I suspect it will soften nicely with a few more years under its belt.

Takes you on a titillating tour of duty from the first touch on the tip of your tongue to the final tickle on your tonsil.

Open up and say ahhhhhhh for The Good Doctor.

Rating: 8.25
Drink with: A nice nurse
Price: $38

PS Incidentally, The Good Doctor is actually named for Dr Ed Tweddle, a true Australian business luminary. A fine tribute to his memory.


  1. I might have to make an appointment to see the good doctor !

    Although I think I would be looking for a bigger Cab, Syrah or Malbec style wine to go with the beef.

  2. I'm pleased to see the Good Doctor was able to tend to you so well at my party. Thanks for the smashing review - makes me want to duck out and grab a bottle to relive the evening. Maybe we'll have to share it over the silly season... Cheers, Tim!