Established in 1997 at Scotsburn, on a windswept ridge 1.5 km from the base of Mt Buninyong, this site is in planted in old goldfield soils. The soils, remnant of the Ordovician period, are made up of clay and sandy quartz breccia along with angular quartz pieces, sandstone, mudstone and siltstone. At 500m elevation, warm days are followed by (acid retaining) cold nights. Vine rows run north-south and are trained to a VSP canopy.
The 2016/2017 growing season that culminated in vintage 2017 saw an almost perfect set of growing conditions for Pinot Noir. Cool conditions at budburst were followed by some nice warmth through flowering. Regular rain events ensured even growth and moderate crops were set. January and February were notable for their cool settled conditions leading to the harvest of outstanding fruit.
50% of the hand-picked fruit was loaded into the fermenter as whole-bunch, the balance was destemmed and loaded in as whole berries. Indigenous ferment began after 2 days reaching a peak of 32˚C, the resultant wine spent a total of 10 days on skins. Post press the wine was settled hard before it was racked to French oak barriques, 30% new. Indigenous MLF took place in oak during 10 months maturation, after which the wine was barrel select blended and bottled.
Full and intoxicating bouquet of black cherry moving to plums swaddled by slate, turned earth, and barrel spice. The fruit character is pure, complex, and heavier set. Its poise and balance are impeccable, allowing full exploration of flavour. A brilliant food wine and one that asks for time. Elegance and length of flavour are trademark Ballarat and testimony to its cool, windswept ridge of provenance.
"Macerated cherry flavours morph into undergrowth and autumn leaves and spice. The flavours sway attractively between the front and the back palate, tannin pulling everything tight on the finish. It's not a bright pinot but it looks tailor-made to develop well."93 Points Campbell Mattinson - James Halliday Wine Companion
(Published 19 June 2021)
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