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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.
HUON HOOKE | THE REAL REVIEW | 96 POINTS
“… A complex and appetising pinot.”
GARY WALSH |THE WINE FRONT | 95 POINTS
“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.”
JAMES HALLIDAY | THE WINE COMPANION | 96 POINTS
“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.”