I must have been on the turps – literally. In my classification scheme I got rid of the two Ss – and changed one to an X – but left us with two Fs – Faulty and Fine.  I like the idea of Fine, so Faulty has to change to P – Problematic.  And in the Pinot bracket I think I have found my “benchmark” wines.  Apologies for anybody outside Australia – I don’t know the availability of these wines outside of Australia.  However – the current price supplied should help you substitute your own wines, and let me know what you choose.

Classification Benchmark wine Price AUD
P Problematic – for wine that has a technical fault such as Brettanomyces or oxidation. You hope not.
T Turps – wine that isn’t faulty, but is shocking nonetheless.  To be drunk only in truly desperate situations, and even then only after couple of bottles of vodka. Surely not with Pinot.
A Anaesthetic – it’s drinkable but only in those situations where you want to dull the pain of modern living. Surely not with Pinot.
Q Quaffing – finally things begin to look up.  A good quaffer is pleasant, very easy to drink, and is great at anytime. De Bortoli Windy Peak $13
S Sound – a well made wine that has some depth and character.  A wine that does have something of its own personality. Stoniers $28
F Fine – Richness, smoothness, complexity, depth, amazing flavours, great mouth feel.  A wine you notice. Main Ridge Estate $70
X Exceptional – I don’t expect many wines to fall into the superb category, but it’s for those fine wines that go that bit further.

De Bortoli Windy Peak is fantastic value for $13.  In Australia no other Pinot Noir comes close for that price – and it’s better than a lot of the more expensive wines.  If you ever wonder about the quality of the Pinot Noir you are drinking, compare it against De Bortoli Windy Peak Pinot Noir.

Stoniers was a Mornington Peninsula family winemaker that was bought by the giant Lion Nathan.  That in itself is not a bad thing.  It means at least that this Pinot Noir is available in a lot of retail outlets.  It’s very well made, and is a good ambassador for Peninsula Pinot Noir.

I’ll write more about Main Ridge in the future.  Suffice to say this is a beautiful Pinot Noir – just difficult to get hold of.

So now we’re at P T A Q S F X.