Tête De Cuvée means the best wine of the vintage. This wine was born through Bill’s and Dan’s love of old world Pinot Noir wines and their desire to make the best Pinot Noir of which Picardy is capable.
This wine is not a reserve wine made in the usual method of selecting the best barrels for separate bottling. Instead, it is made entirely as a separate wine with a greater emphasis on intensity, complexity, structure and cellaring potential.
“Well well. It is always with anticipation that I pour my first glass of Tête. The palest in colour of the lot, always. The 2014 is no exception. Since the release of the great 2014 estate pinot last year, I have been hanging on to give this a look. I can say – it was worth the wait, although waiting is what we must do more of. This has a structural integrity about it that would make the Golden Gate Bridge weep. The flavours course straight down the length of the palate, doubling back to encapsulate the entire mouth in an amalgam of flavour, structure, acidity, tannin, and fine Burgundian oak. It has incredible balance and line – already so poised. This is built for the long haul. Black cherry, olive, pomegranate, hints of deeper mulberry, summer strawberry, freshly crushed black pepper and hints of anise around the edges. It has all of the life, spice and fruit of the 2014 pinot release, with the volume turned up, and the lights turned down. This is dark brooding and intense.
It hides latent power behind its pale colour and gossamer fine fruit. Incredible. After the 2015 estate pinot release, I’m practically quaking in my wellies for the 2015 Tête release. If you’re not in the midst of collecting enough Tête to create your own vertical tasting, get out there and start – with recent releases as rockstar as 2011, 2013, now 2014 and the as yet unreleased ’15 waiting in the wings, it’s fair to say the Pannells are putting themselves in an enviable national position when it comes to first-class pinot. Let’s not tell the Victorians, the Pannells don’t make enough for all of us ;)” Erin Larkin