Tiffin Project

Blind Tasting Review “Aussie Edition”: Haywire Pinot Gris 2011

by Sheila Whittaker on May 9, 2013

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Blind tasting reviews are a fun game to play with restaurant sommeliers and wine nerds across town… or across the globe in this case. Since I’m travelling in Australia, I though it would be fun to bring a bottle of Okanagan wine with me to see what a somm down under would make of it. So I’ve been hanging out at licensed hot spots in Sydney making conversation with men behind the bar. Pretty hard work while on vacation, but that is my dedication to Urban Diner readers.

Come inside and read the review of our next contestant…



Seamus Brandt is a Junior Sommelier at Rockpool Bar and Grill in Sydney, Australia (see here). With previous experience as a chef and waiter, Seamus has been in the industry for about eight years and is starting to put some paper behind his wine career with WSET studies. At Rockpool, he works under the watchful eye of a Master Sommelier managing a wine cellar worth over $10 million that Wine Spectator has judged as one of the greatest in the world.

Haywire Pinot Gris 2011

ABV: 13%
Category: Pinot Gris
Winemaker: Haywire 

Appearance: Clear, lemony core and clear meniscus.

Nose: Clean, youthful nose. Tropical fruits of fresh pineapple, stone fruit, fresh cut grass with no evidence of oak and steely minerality. On second assessment more limes and lemons on the nose are apparent.

Palate: The wine is dry, medium+ acidity, with a light body confirming no oak. Confirm cut grass, and more unripe pineapple. Acidity allows for a long, lingering finish and freshness. Citrus coming through more on the palate. No evidence of tannins, low alcohol, medium intensity.

Assessment of Quality: Quite well balanced, moderate intensity and complexity. Tightly structured. Quite a lovely, lingering finish. The wine is ready to drink now through five years, perhaps. I don’t think it will improve — not a bad thing but just made to drink. I like it, I would happily have a glass with freshly shucked oysters, tuna tartare or roasted prawns.

Further Comments Upon Reveal: My first impression was WOW! Tight for a Pinot Gris! A couple more looks and you see characteristic fruit clearly point to the style, and there’s enough weight and texture on the palate, but this is still stylistically different to me.

Availability: BC Liquor Stores

Price: $19.99

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Leeann May 9, 2013 at 11:09 pm

What a cool idea Sheila! I do the publicity for his wine and take quite the delight that someone in Australia got to taste it!

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