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: Eastern Peake

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Eastern Peake

www.easternpeake.com.au

Clunes Rd, Coghills Creek, 3364

Cellar Door: Daily (11-5)

Ph: (03) 5343 4245

cellar
Eastern Peake in the rather wet summer of 2010/11. The function room was completed in time for the wedding of Norm's daughter (photo genxywines)

This pioneering vineyard established by Norm and Dianne Latta about 25 km out of Ballarat in 1983 at a site selected for sparkling wine production by the late Trevor Mast (when he was working at Best's before taking over at Mt. Langi Ghiran). Sparkling wine wasn't part of Mt. Langi Ghirans's plans at the time so the Pinot Noir ended up as a table wine. Chardonnay was also added. Trevor made the first two vintages until a winery was built in 1995.

The soil is a clay loam basalt overlying a subsoil of clay and fine ironstone.

Norm suffers from muscular dystrophy so their son, Owen, is now heading up the wine-making side and also runs a contract wine-making services.

The Pinots are generally light-medium and minerally rather than fruit bombs but have enough stemmy acid to last over 10 years cellaring. The best Pinot Noir now matches anything from much hyped iconic Victorian small wineries but Norm and Owen's efforts have so far been overlooked by the wine press (not for much longer).

I was lucky enough to get the opportunity in 2007 to do a vertical tasting of back vintages with Norm back to the first releases from the winery. The oldest, a then 12 year old Pinot Noir from 1995 was surprisingly fresh, savoury and lively. I can hardly wait to open up the more recent premium OB Terroirs releases sometime in the second half of the next decade.

The range now also includes the delicate Pinot Tache and a cool cimate Syrah. The Appellation Ballarat brand is Owen's sulphur-free experiment.

cellar
View from the back of the winery of the Eastern Peak (photo genxywines)
Tasting Notes

There are three types of Tasting notes:

(W) Notes from the winery (blurbs from bottle)

(GXY) Notes from a GenXY wine reviewer

(G) Notes from GenXY's Tasting events (collective opinions)

New reviews

Eastern Peake OB Terroir Pinot Noir 2013

Purchased: Not ($70)

Drink: 2025

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2016,10% whole bunch, MV6 clone, succulent red cherry and blood plum with violet and rose petal florals and a hint of earthy beetroot, gamy medium bodied palate with spice complexity and crystalline minerailty, racy acidity and charry cinnamon/clove oak on the persistent finish (****1/2)

Eastern Peake Intrinsic Pinot Noir 2014

Purchased: Not ($42)

Drink: 2027

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2016, long and vibrant showing blood plum and mulberry with rose petal florals and a hint of beetroot, the supple palate is opening up to some foresty complexity and warm earthiness, slippery and savoury tannins, well judged charry clove/cinnamon oak and the acidity for this longer cellaring style (****1/2)

Eastern Peake Intrinsic Pinot Noir 2013

Purchased: Not ($45)

Drink: 2022

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2015, perfumed plum and mulberry with rose pearl florals, the silky medium bodied palate opens up some gamy and foresty complexity, long an slinky savoury tannins with restrained clove/cinnamon oak (****1/2)

Eastern Peake Tache Blanche de Noir 2014

Purchased: Not ($28)

Drink: 2016

(GXY) Tasting: Dec 2015,  pale orange salmon blush colour, quite delicate, dry and viscous with demure red fruits and toasty lees, strawberry and cream style with dusting of herbs and a fresh savoury finish (****)

Eastern Peake Tache 2013

Purchased: Not ($27)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2014, a Pinot Rose, touch of salmon orange colour, dry and viscous with strawberry and rose petal notes, some garden herb nuances, good length leading to fine chalky phenolics (****)

Eastern Peake OB Terroir Pinot Noir 2010

Purchased: Not ($60)

Drink: 2020+

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2013, MV6 clones from 1983 and 1989 blocks, slightly hazy colour, focussed and pure black cherries, mulberries, dark plum and violets, spicy with complex earth and game characters shows the vineyard’s distinctive crystalline minerality, firmish chalky tannins and moderately charred oak, this is a serious long cellaring Pinot (****1/2)

Eastern Peake Intrinsic Pinot Noir 2012

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2020

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2013, quite perfumed mulberry, plum and black cherry fruit with violet florals and savoury game aspects, earthy and medium bodied with balanced charry cinnamon/clove oak, long and slinky tannins, in a similar long cellaring style as the OB Terroir but not quite as pure (****1/2)

Eastern Peake Pinot Tache 2012

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2013, light salmon orange blush, dry but in a strawberry and cream style with some garden herbs, light bodied, finishes savoury with delicate tannins and good acid balance (****)

Eastern Peake Intrinsic Pinot Noir 2010

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2018+

(GXY) Tasting:  Oct 2012, quite fragrant core of mulberry, plum and black cherry fruit with violet, black olive and savoury game nuances, minerally and medium bodied with integrated charry cinnamon/clove oak, long and slinky tannins, long cellaring style (****1/2)

Eastern Peake Appellation Ballarat Pinot Noir 2009

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting:  Oct 2012, a sulphur-free product of the 2009 heatwave, broad and sweet cranberry and plum with an exaggerated contrast of  peat/beetroot earthiness, open knit chalky tannins, looking a bit aged (***)

Eastern Peake Intrinsic Pinot Noir 2009

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2011, fragrant, long and shapely core of mulberry, plum and black cherry fruit with violet, pepper and savoury meat nuances, minerally and medium bodied with some mid-plate glycerol, balanced charry oak also brings some cinnamon and clove to the finish, long and fine tannins (****1/2)

Eastern Peake Intrinsic Chardonnay 2010

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2011, very pure fruit expression with some natural malo and minimal sulpur, long and nicely focussed nectarine, pear and lemon with some mealy yeast notes, minerally with a delicate talc texture and light savoury oak, squeaky clean grapefruit acidity on the flinty finish (****)

Eastern Peake Intrinsic Pinot Noir 2008

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2018

GXY) Tasting: Oct 2010, rich and complex wine showing medium bodied plum and mulberry with a touch of mint, spice and forest floor, savoury and earthy, infused with a web of chewy tannins and smoky cedar oak, not quite a supple as the OB terroir but will last long after flashier young Pinots have collapsed (****1/2)

Eastern Peake Intrinsic Chardonnay 2009

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2010, perfumed floral nose, very taut and lean showing white peach and nectarine with savoury and wheatmeal nuances, delicately textured with restrained spicy vanilla oak with fresh grapefruit acidity, some will find this rather twee but I like the focus (****)

Eastern Peake Walsh Block Syrah 2008

Purchased: Not ($35)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2010, very much in a medium bodied cool climate Syrah style, focussed core of black cherry and mulberry with pepper and Asian spice, the palate shows savoury/sappy complexity and is fully ripe and long, finishes with a streak of graphite minerality and smoky cedar oak (****)

Eastern Peake Pinot Tache 2009

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2010

(GXY) Tasting: Oct 2010, according to winemaker Norm this has had only brief contact with skins for a couple of hours that brings a faint salmon orange blush, dry and super delicate with strawberry and plum nuances with a touch of savoury lees, delicacy highlights the subtle tannins and minerality on the finish, one for the faint hearted (***1/2)

Eastern Peake OB Terroir Pinot Noir 2007

Purchased: Cellar Door ($60)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, impressive effort given the challenging vintage, complex and focussed glazed cherry, dark plum and raspberry with dried herb, forest floor and savoury meat aspects, long chalky mineral backbone, vibrant acidity and fine tannins for the long haul (****1/2)

Eastern Peake Walsh Block Syrah 2007

Purchased: Not

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, a brightly fruited and medium bodied wine built around a long core of earthy dark plum and black cherry fruit, savoury with a intensely minerally chassis, balanced mocha-chocolate oak with vibrant acidity and fine tannins, an interesting wine that seems to benefited from the warmer than usual vintage for Ballarat (****)

Eastern Peake Intrinsic Pinot Noir 2007

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2013

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, not as deep set as the OB Terroir but a similar fruit profile showing glazed cherry and dark plum with dried herb and mint notes, glycerolly and medium bodied with savoury meat and earthy mushroom notes, fresh acids with a citric twist (***1/2)

Eastern Peake Intrinsic Chardonnay 2007

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Nov 2009, restrained and tightly wound white peach, melon and nectarine with vibrant quinine-like minerality and disciplined oak use, this vintage just needs a bit more length (***1/2)

Eastern Peake OB Teroir Pinot Noir 2006

Purchased: Not ($65)

Drink: 2017

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2008, People’s Choice Best Pinot at Western Victoria Federation Square Showcase 2008, some the Melbourne wine punters know about it even if the wine press haven’t caught up yet that Ballarat’s veteran Burgundian inspired winemaker, Norm Latta, is now coming with premiums that match the best from Victoria’s cult wineries like Giaconda or Bass Phillip, taut and focussed cherry, redcurrant and dark plum with that ethereal Burgundian quality, savoury, complex and forest floor all framed in a crystalline minerality that has a clarity I have yet to see before in any Victorian Pinot Noir, impeccable tannin and oak handling (*****)

Eastern Peake Intrinsic Pinot Noir 2006

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2015

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2008, while a step down from the glory of the OB Terroir, this is still an attractive and focussed wine showing tightly packed red cherry, dark plum, violets with spices and earthy mushroom, a core of flinty minerality drives the wine, lingering savoury, if slightly grippy tannins, needs time to unfold as do all of Norm’s Pinots (****)

Eastern Peake Intrinsic Chardonnay 2006

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2008, restrained and disciplined Chablis style showing white peach, lemon and nougat with an assertive backbone of quinine minerality, lingering chalky finish (****)

Eastern Peake Pinot Noir 1998

Purchased: South Melbourne Cellars ($22)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: Sept 2007, light-medium bodied black cherry and plum, earthy palate is quite dry, with gamey and savoury features underpinned with minerally steminess, fruit has integrated with cinnamon spicy French oak, coffee-chocolate features on finish, fine grained tannins, still enough acid to last a couple of more Norm reckons the cork is starting to get a bit dodgy on too many bottles so drink up (****)

Eastern Peake Chardonnay 2006

Purchased: Not ($30)

Drink: 2012

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2007, fragrant melon and stonefruit, biscuity and creamy palate but is framed with brisk lemon citric acids and a flinty mineral base, toasty French oak (****)

Eastern Peake Pinot Noir 2003

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2014

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2007, savoury plum, slightly glazed black cherry and dark chocolate, earthy and medium bodied framed with the distinctive stemmy mineral acidity aspects, oak adds cinnamon and vanilla notes, firm tannins, should be a long living wine (****)

Eastern Peake Pinot Noir 2000

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2005

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2007, light bodied and smooth black cherry showing mushroom and earthy features, showing some sour stemminess but seems a lot flatter than usual for Eastern Peake, seems to be fading (***)

Eastern Peake Pinot Noir 1999

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2005

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2007, from a warm vintage, produced by then 15 year old Owen after Norm had an accident which led to a temporary loss of sense of smell, medium bodied black cherry and plum, the palate shows the distinctive savoury and mineral/stemmy features but the fruit is a bit forward and spiky, spicy coffee-vanilla-chocolate oak dominates the back palate (***1/2)

Eastern Peake Pinot Noir 1997

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2007, fragrant black cherry and plum, the rounded and medium bodied palate is earthy, gamey and savoury is framed with minerally steminess, cinnamon spicy French oak, coffee-chocolate features on finish, smooth rounded tannins (****)

Eastern Peake Pinot Noir 1996

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2005

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2007, smooth and savoury black cherry, light-medium bodied bottle age gamey features, spicy French oak showing same caramel features on the finish, starting to fade (***)

Eastern Peake Pinot Noir 1995

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2007

(GXY) Tasting: Aug 2007, surprisingly fresh and lively for a 12 year old Pinot, earthy and light-medium bodied, savoury black cherry with underlying mineral acidity, spicy French oak showing plenty of dark chocolate features, rounded tannins (****)

Eastern Peake Chardonnay 2003

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2008

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2006, lime-citrus and green melon nose with butterscotch and flint features, good fruit intensity and deep fruit intensity, smooth vanilla oaking (****)

Eastern Peake Pinot Noir 2001

Purchased: Not ($25)

Drink: 2011

(GXY )Tasting: Mar 2006, mulberry, glazed black cherry and dark chocolate nose, earthy palate also shows plum, distinctive smoky cinnamon oak integrates well with the fruit, lacks the spice and game of colder vintages but is a good food wine, tannins to last a decent cellaring time (***1/2)

Eastern Peake Pinot Rose 2004

Purchased: Not ($20)

Drink: 2006

(GXY) Tasting: Mar 2006, salmon coloured, shows fresh raspberry and strawberry flavours but with dry herbal palate, grassy mid-palate, crisp finish (***)