When you want to know what the weather will be like tomorrow you check the weather forecast. When you want to drink peerless Aussie pinot, you look to Tom Carson. Tom’s lifelong obsession with this obsession-forming of grapes took him to some of the best domaines in Burgundy to dig down into the minutiae of what perfect pinot noir is all about.
It's been said that, when he’s not working, he is spending his hard-earned wages on obscenely over-priced bottles of Vosne-Romanée and poring over their finest details in uber-geeky tastings with his inner circle of pinot-obsessed friends. His love of this grape and his tirelessly analytical mind has earned him more accolades and awards – when he won the coveted Jimmy Watson trophy (Oz’s top wine prize) in 2013, he was the first person ever to do so with pinot – than he knows what to do with. But more than that: it has helped him to redefine the Aussie approach to winemaking - with a Burgundian focus on vineyard site and soil, as manifest with his work at Yabby Lake in Mornington - and terroir taking precedence over cellar-based chicanery.
It was really with Yabby Lake that Tom established himself as Mr Pinot. His search for the perfect Aussie terroir for pinot (and chardonnay) led him to the Yarra Valley. Few people know the vineyards of Yarra better than Tom. Now, having achieved pretty much everything there is to achieve in wine, Tom has launched his own special project, Distant Noises – which is his attempt to do that rare thing of making high-quality wine that is accessible to many. His Distant Noises pinot makes absolutely no compromises on quality (hand-harvested fruit from the valley floor around Yarra Glen, top barrels from Tonnellerie de Mercurey in Burgundy, etc…), but comes at a price that leaves you wondering what sorcery he is involved in. Has he gone mad? Did he get the price wrong? We’ll not inquire too far, rather simply revel in the rare gift he’s given us: cracking pinot at an affordable price.