Bannockburn Vineyards Geelong Pinot Noir 2018
6 bottle buy Great vintage! 96 points, Halliday
Since its establishment by Stuart Reginald Hooper in 1974, Bannockburn Vineyards has been at the vanguard of the Australian fine wine story, producing vineyard specific wines of the highest quality from the start. It lies 25 kilometres northwest of Geelong, located in the Moorabool Valley sub-region, just outside the township of Bannockburn. The estate comprises 26 vineyard blocks – including the iconic Serré vineyard (now the site of Australia’s oldest close-planted Pinot Noir vines) – planted to seven grape varieties, of which Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz form the key quintet. Here, Bannockburn’s predominantly mature vines are rooted in one of Victorias’ most unique low-fertility terroirs; volcanic surface debris and ancient sea beds running to richer and darker soils, layered over predominantly limestone bedrock.
Following almost a decade under the steam train of energy and passion that was Michael Glover, Matt Holmes is the winemaker charged with writing the next chapter of this singular estate, taking over in 2015.
The evolution of Bannockburn’s Estate Pinot continues unabated under Matt Holmes’ direction. As we have seen, Holmes has introduced an earlier-bottling regime and is also being more reticent in his use of whole bunches than his predecessors. It is now the strong personality of the sites–which are now farmed organically–that drive the character of this wine.
The 2018 was drawn from batches of Pinot Noir from several different blocks planted in 1976, 1997 and 2007. The soils of all these blocks are volcanic loam and dark clay over a limestone clay base. All the fruit was fermented with indigenous yeast, with just 20% whole bunches left in the ferment. Élevage played out for 12 months, primarily in Tronçais and Bertranges hogsheads (25% new). The notes below sum it up well. It’s a sappy, intensely red-fruited and very earthy Pinot with real depth and balance. Somehow complex and pretty at the same time, with savoury complexity and drive. Feels like it will be something really special with age.
96 points, Huon Hooke, The Real Review“… A complex and appetising pinot.”
94+ points, Gary Walsh, The Wine Front “It’s a bright, spicy, slightly earthy/twiggy number, all dark juicy cherry and crunchy redcurrant. A cool ‘mineral’ feel to the acidity, lovely and glassy, fine graphite tannin, sweet and sour cherries, strawberry, a pleasing sappy tang and savoury slightly sordid undergrowth character, and a fresh clean finish of excellent persistence. Comes up very well in the glass, and while I wasn’t quite sure of it at first, it won me over in quick time.”
96 points, James Halliday, Winecompanion.com.au: “Predominantly clone MV6, plus 114, 115 and 777 planted ’76, ’97 and ’07. The batches were wild-fermented with 20% whole bunches, matured for 12 months in French hogsheads (30% new). Plum, cherry, bright acidity and fine, persistent tannins will bring pleasure at any time along the development trail.”
RRP $70 Special when you buy 6 bottles or more
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