'The Sabre' Pinot Noir 2016 was judged 'Pick of the Pack' in two recent Wine Selectors Winemakers' Release packs, Tim was also interviewed about his approach to wine making...
Q What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given when it comes to winemaking?
A What determines the quality of a wine is not the barrels of wine that you put in a blend, but the ones you leave out. In other words, be ruthless when you select for quality. Don’t include lesser wines just for the volume.
Q What’s your biggest career highlight so far?
A I recently tasted a vertical of the last eight vintages of The Sabre, plus two Reserve wines, and realised that I had achieved one of my big ambitions. While collectively they had won a number of gold medals and trophies, what really thrilled me was that while they showed aged characters, they were still lively and ‘together’, rich and complex. I always wanted to make Pinot with legs!
Q The Riposte The Sabre Pinot Noir 2016 is our Pick of the Pack – what makes this such a standout?
A It’s a multi-vineyard and multi-clonal wine, it’s made of many small batches fermented, pressed and aged separately in the best French oak barriques that we can buy, 20% of them new. My son Nick and I constantly taste through up to 100 of these barrels, aiming to create a rich, layered and complex wine which reflects the individual vintage. Typically we will reject up to 20% of the barrels available, often because the wine just doesn’t fit what we’re aiming for – see best advice!
"With a long history of judging, Tim enjoys the opportunity to taste and experience a wide range of Australian cool climate wines, and is a master of Pinot Noir."
Grown in: Adelaide Hills, SA
Made by: Tim Knappstein
In the glass: Deep garnet.
On the nose: Strawberry, dark cherry and plum with earthy notes and kitchen spice.
On the palate: Very ripe and juicy, showing developed red plum, strawberry, complex tannins, mouth-watering acidity and cedar oak support.
Pair with: Mushroom risotto with speck
Best time to drink: Now to 2021
Download the Wine Selectors Winemakers' Release notes to read the review.