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C for Chatto: Chatto 2014 Vintage Release
Wine to put hair on your chest

Title: C for Chatto

Genre: Action-Thriller
Running Time: TBA
Rating: R18+ Chat Responsibly
Australian Release Date: 1/8/15
Director: Jim Chatto

Chatto White Label Pinot Noir 2014
Chatto Isle Black Label Pinot Noir 2014


Every year (for the past three years at least) WineChatty has held an annual blind tasting of a random selection of recent Pinot Noir releases.
Since their first Pinot Noir vintage (the 2012), Chatto releases have featured in our annual tastings, taking out the number 1 spot in 2014 and performing strongly in 2015 (runner up) in a line up of Australian Pinot Noirs. We are very excited to see the release of the 2014 vintage, and expect Chatto to put on a tour-de-force performance to blow away the Australian public.

Production Notes:

Chatto Isle Black and White Label were tasted blind with two other Australian Pinot Noir (another Tasmanian (Tamar Valley), and a Victorian (Geelong)). All wines were laid out together which allowed for easy comparison and contrasting.

Guess which two are the Chatto wines!

About the Cast:

Chatto White Label Pinot Noir 2014: The Chatto White label was a finely balanced, spiced and delicate pinot. It has complexity and yet also remains accessible. In fact we picked this one as a fantastic introduction to someone unfamiliar with Pinot Noir, as it showcases the positive characteristics of the varietal and powerful fruits of a Tasmanian vineyard. This is Natalie Portman, an A-list star who excels at complex character acting but also has blockbuster appeal.

Chatto Isle Black Label Pinot Noir 2014: In complete contrast to the Chatto Pinot Noir 2014, the Chatto Isle 2014 had some challenging flavours which came as a bit of a shock. We all identified a grassy smokiness with gasoline hints. In the blind tasting, none of us picked that the White Label and Isle Black Label came from the same winery, much less the same vineyard. We feel it may be a bit to early to drink the Isle as it has some raw harsh qualities. However, although it is currently less balanced than the White Label, I kept coming back to it, and ended up draining the glass more often than the others. There is a lot going on in this wine; a bit of age to smooth out the rawness and for further development of the flavours will bring about something pretty special. This is Hugo Weaving, someone who has made out-of-the-box choices and steals the show from the charismatic lead.

Technical Specs

Location: Chatto Wine’s Isle Vineyard, use for both labels, is located in the Huon Valley of Southern Tasmania. The vineyard itself is north facing block of 1.5 hectares on a well drained site composed of Permian Limestone and Calcareous mudstone.
Quantity: 2014 was high quality but low yield thus only a small volume was made. From the low yield of grapes, only 1200 bottles of the White Label and 600 bottles (from one puncheon) of the Isle Black Label was produced.
Production: There is an 8 day cold soak of roughly 25% whole bunches. Wild yeast fermentation. After 15 days on skins it is subsequently pressed to French puncheons (30% new)
ABV: 13.5%
Price: $50 (White Label), $70 (Isle Black Label).

Did You Know?


There is ~25% of whole bunch used for both the White Label and the Isle Black Label.
The White Label uses 25% new French oak while the Isle Black Label uses a 1 year old puncheon.
The White Label comprises six Pinot Noir clones (114, 115, 2051, 8048, 777 and MV6) while the Isle Black Label is from a select patch of the Isle Vineyard that is 100% 777.
Jim Chatto discovered the potential for Tasmanian Pinot Noirs while working as a young winemaker at Rosevears Estate (Tamar Valley) back in 1998.
Jim Chatto is currently the Chief Winemaker for the McWilliam’s group and is based out of Mount Pleasant in the Hunter Valley. Prior to McWilliam’s, he was also the Chief Winemaker at Pepper Tree wines.
The Chatto Pinot Noirs are inspired by the great wines of the Cote de Nuit: wines that clearly express site and season.




“Great fruit, great oak (in balance), let the vineyard talk.” Jim Chatto


Tasting Notes

*Note our scoring scale is slightly different than other wine reviewers. In short, anything above 7.0 is considered worthy of buying, but see here for more details.

Chatto White Label Pinot Noir 2014532CHA No Vintage Pinot Noir RGB FA

Smell (8.5): Slight smoke. Very savoury
Taste (9): Black pepper, toasted oak, and a good whack of tannins right on the tip of the tongue.
Value (9)
Total Score: 8.8
Nose: Spicy, juniper berries
Taste: Delicate fruit. Spice through the length. Quite savoury with slightly bite from tannins and oak on the end
Total Score: 8.5
Nose (7.5): Has typical red fruits in the bouquet surrounded by toasted oak. The nose is simpler than the Black Label but just works.
Taste (8): On the palate it has a light fruity Tassie style, quite pleasant and easy to drink but still has complexity that has you pouring for more. Balanced out with a tingling of acids on the finish.
Value (8)
Total Score: 7.8
Averaged Score: 8.4


Chatto Isle Black Label Pinot Noir 2014646CHA No Vintage Isle RGB FA (1)

Smell (7): Little smokey with a hint of cut grass. Earthy. There is an odd fuel-like smell initially when poured — thankfully, this mostly dissipates with a bit of airing, which makes the wine feel more balanced.
Taste (8): Tastes basically like it smells, and like the nose it gets better with time. Definitely a different expression of the Pinot grape — not in a bad way at all.
Value (8)
Total Score: 8.5
Nose: Grassy and Garbage Dump
Taste: Starts with fruit moves straight into savoury and earth qualities. Savoury, fish sauce, garbage dump. Soda water aftertaste. Grassiness and a touch harsh at the end. Those flavours sound negative but I find it to be a very interesting and challenging wine. Tasty and eccentric.
This wine is a goth clown girl you need to get to know before you realise that she’s a polite, kind and considerate sex bomb
Total Score: 8.0
Nose (6.8): The nose is quite strong on this one initially. It gives me a strong sense of burnt Aussie bushland and has quite a bit of toasty oak. Airing or decanting helps tone down the burnt smell a little and reveals a bit more of the fruit.
Taste (9.2): Quite a different beast on the palate, very complex and tastes earthy and “stemmy”. Savoury and a touch of bitterness at the end, reminds me of ginseng roots. I feel like this one is a bit like riding a wild stallion, energetic and bucks a lot, never quite leaving you comfortable. The potential is there but just requires a bit of training (time) before you can see its true value.
Value (7)
Total Score: 8.0
Averaged Score: 8.2


At the time of publishing this post, the Chatto 2014 White Label Pinot Noir has been sold out as pre-release to existing members. It’s not surprising considering the limited number of bottles produced and their notable membership base. There are still a few cases left of the Isle Black Label. So order yourself some 2014 Isle Black Label to cellar or sign up for membership so you don’t miss out on their next vintage of the White Label at their website here:


About The Author
Peter Tan
Dilettante. I had to look that up.

Notable Replies

  1. Lots of love for the Isle

    2014 Chatto Isle Pinot Noir reviews

    Campbell Mattinson, The Winefront 31 July 2015
    Its tiny production – only 50 or so dozen I believe – could easily define it. Instead, its quality does.
    It lingers for longer. I could go on about cherry this and sourness that, about the interplay between peppers and smoked woody spices – but who could be bothered when the entire thrill of quality here revolves around the wine’s unmissably long, reedy finish? With each sip, the persistence of flavour allows enough time yet for a hundred indecisions, and a hundred visions and revisions – to borrow from J. Alfred Prufrock – before finally slipping away into a past we are desperate to immediately revisit. Call it a poetic wine. Or a sensation. It matters not a great deal anyway.
    97; 2016-2030

    James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion, 2016 ed.
    The first release of 50 dozen, 60 magnums from the best part of the estate. Clones 777, 115 and 8048, matured for 11 months in 1yo French oak. Bright, full purple-crimson, this is a world apart from the varietal Pinot Noir, more powerful, complex and deep, black cherry and plum driving the palate. Will develop superbly.
    96; to 2029

    Huon Hooke, July 2015
    Ranked #1 of 40 Pinot Noir tasted from Australia
    Deep, vivid, young purple/red colour. Slightly smoky reductive or toasty oak aromas (or a combination) dominate somewhat at this point. Some burnt tobacco notes. The palate is soft and fleshy, smooth and attractively textured, although toasty oak is playing a big role here. Good length and it really satisfies. It has great structure for aging. So much for Tassie pinot being too fruit-bomby! It’s ready already, however.
    95; 2016-2030

    Do you agree with these? I think it definitely needs some age on it

  2. Huon’s description is the closest match to my experience.

    Also Halliday’s review is a little inaccurate in regards to the clones used. Isle made solely from a single clone, 777.

    Looks like both the White Label and the Isle have now sold out.

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