2018 Ballarat Pinot Noir

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. The VSP canopy vine rows run north-south.

Growing Season
The 2017/2018 growing season that culminated in vintage 2018 saw cool conditions at budburst that was followed by warm days and cool nights throughout the entire growing season. Regular rain events ensured a good crop was set. Ballarat’s (advantage), 500m of elevation, came to the fore in January and February 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 33˚C, the resultant wine spent a total of 11 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.

Tasting Note
An intoxicating bouquet of black cherry, forest floor, earth and barrel spice. The fruit character is pure, complex, and dark. Its poise and  balance is impeccable allowing a 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 provenance.

Independent Review
"Sourced from a single vineyard at 510m elevation in Scotsburn. Hand-picked fruit, 50% whole bunch, wild-yeast open fermentation, 11 days on skins, mlf, 10 months in French barriques (30% new). Still early days for this pinot; tight and slowly yielding to time in bottle. Emerging deep dark aromas of tilled earth, forest floor, wild blackberries and herbs. Gathering itself together on the palate around a solid core of spice and black cherry the sinewy tannins yet to fully meld. A dark brooding pinot in the making."
94 Points Jeni Port – James Halliday Wine Companion
(Published on 13 August 2021)