2019 "Upper" Yarra Valley Pinot Noir
90 Points - Stuart Knox, (Huon Hooke's) The Real Review
A beautiful site for cool climate grape growing, the Willowlake vineyard sits at an elevation of 180 - 200 metres above sea level. The vines were planted in 1988 and the clone used in this Pinot Noir is the much-loved MV6. Soils are a dark-grey clay loam over red volcanic soil, which allows free drainage and good mineral deposits for the vines to grab in the subsurface. The amazing site allows the ever-healthy vines to ripen grapes which develop both deep intense flavour and also fully mature phenolic and tannins.
The grapes were handpicked on 4th March. After being chilled overnight, the grapes were destemmed, with 15% of the ferment remaining as whole bunches. A small saignée was also employed to concentrate flavour intensity.
After a gentle 18 day fermentation, the grapes were pressed and run to (very) old oak for maturation and malolactic fermentation. Both malo and ferment were conducted naturally.
The wine was blended to tank in November 2019 and bottled in January 2020, without any filtration or fining.
The appearance is a bright ruby.
The nose bursts with fresh cherry and intense spice of clove, cardamom, peppercorn. Freshly cut fennel and rosewood are woven throughout.
The palate is soft and luscious. Red and bramble fruits burst through, with more spiced tones evident. The tannin is firm but ripe and mellows perfectly into the long fruit driven finish which is silky, mouthcoating and persistent.
Cellar for up to 10 years+ from vintage.
A recommended food match Chinese-spiced seared duck breast
with a cherry sauce.