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October '23

2022 “All The Dirts” Pinot Noir

“Between the Penguins and the Prom"

We’re getting closer to warmth. Put the heavy Shiraz and Cabernet away (alright maybe not just yet). Let’s go somewhere cooler, wetter, more lush; rolling hills cow-country, dairy belt stuff: we’re going to Gippsland – not for the first time, but once again for one of our favourites: Pinot Noir. A larger, lesser travelled Victorian wine region, Gippsland extends from barely an hour east of Melbourne’s CBD to the border with New South Wales and all the way south to the Bass Strait (the most southern point of mainland Australia). Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are the darlings of the dirt; we’ve picked this month’s wine from Dirty Three Wines in South
Gippsland, the coolest of them all.

“It’s All About the Dirt(y Three Wines)!”

Dirty Three Wines was originally started by Marcus ‘Satch’ Satchell, Cam McKenzie, and Stu Gregor. McKenzie and Gregor left a few years back to start a distillery (may have heard of Four Pillars Gin in the Yarra Valley?), and Macus now runs Dirty Three with his wife, Lisa.

Lisa and Marcus make four different Pinot Noirs from three distinct sites in Gippsland, exhibiting first hand the concept of terroir. The three single dirt Pinots are from Berry’s Creek Vineyard, which has red volcanic soil, Tilson Vineyard which has red and brown volcanic soil, and Holgate’s Road which has sandy clay loam – an incredible vinous experience to taste side by side if you get the chance.

"All The Dirts"

This month’s wine is a combination of all the Pinot sites they work with, which in 2022 was Berrys Creek; contributing spice, earth and perfume, Lauriston; brightness and purity, Tilson; length and drive, and Woongarra; dark fruits and supple tannin. Marcus and Lisa always want this wine to be a strong reflection of South Gippsland Pinot Noir, and ready to drink
from the outset. The wine has layers of flavour, a juicy mid-palate, and a silky finish.

Whilst a cruel vintage in terms of yield (most of the vineyards were 50-70% down on average due to wet and cold flowering conditions), the quality cannot be argued with. The ripening season was near perfect with cooler days allowing slower, steadier ripening of grapes providing a depth of flavour that is carried by the perfectly ripe tannins. We’ve followed this wine for a while and we think this is the best iteration to date: one for now or for later.

"Heartbreaking to know yields were way down because this is an excellent wine. Quality is not down, no way. This has set its own tune with florals, spice, a riff of red fruits, cherries, raspberries and more. But as always, the palate sings. Oh-so-fine tannins glide across the palate and with the equally fine acidity, the finish is long and pure.”

96 Points
Jane Faulkner | Halliday Wine Companion

Food and Wine, the Language of Love

A lighter elegant wine with delicate aroma, we matched All the Dirts with a similarly delicate coconut milk based white fish curry and cucumber salad to not overshadow the nuance of the wine. For a more readily available crack n’ swirl pairing grab some cured meats, olives, and lightly pickled veg – enjoy!


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