Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2022
Stuart Hooper had a vision to create a vineyard in Australia that would produce exceptional quality wines. In the early 1970s he selected a plot of land in the Moorabool Valley and planted shiraz vines. As the vineyard expanded, more land was acquired, and additional grape varieties were planted. Bannockburn Vineyards, founded by Stuart Hooper, continues to thrive today, with a commitment to quality and organic farming practices. Matt Holmes joined Bannockburn Vineyards as the winemaker in 2015, aiming to produce wines representative of the vineyard's style and site with gentle inputs and minimal additions in the winemaking process.
Bannockburn Vineyards is comprised of 24 vineyard blocks, 8 grape varieties, and 16 clones. The soil is low-fertility with good drainage, allowing for controlled growth. Organic farming principles are followed, with the addition of compost to maintain vineyard balance. The soil variations range from volcanic surface debris to ancient sea beds, layered over limestone bedrock. The first vineyard was planted in 1974, making the vines some of the oldest in the Geelong region. The Moorabool Valley, where the vineyards are located, has an average annual rainfall of 540mm, primarily occurring in winter and spring. The region benefits from a maritime influence, resulting in mild temperatures and long sunshine hours. The stable, dry and low-humidity conditions during the grape-growing season allow for a mild and extended ripening period, ideal for healthy vines and gradual flavour development. The unique combination of meagre rainfall, low vigour soils, prevailing winds and close plantings contributes to the restricted yields and distinctive flavors and structures of Bannockburn wines.
Drawn from Bannockburn’s entire spectrum of vineyards (planted in 1976, 1997 and 2007), including fruit from the iconic, close-planted blocks. All the sites have volcanic loam and dark clay over a limestone base and are planted to various clones, mainly MV6 with a smattering of the Dijon (or Bernard) clones 114, 115 and 777. Hand-picked fruit from each block fermented separately. Twenty per cent whole bunches and a small portion of carbonic was used. The wine was then pressed to a combination of hogsheads and puncheons (20% new) for a ten-month élevage before blending.
Bursting with bright red fruit and with Bannockburn’s savoury/earthy signature woven throughout, there’s enticing purity, great fruit tannin and a deliciously supple mouthfeel. A touch of sweet-and-sour complexity on the finish offers a glimpse of things to come as it evolves, but it's absolutely singing already.
I guess that you'd call this light but its length and general insistence is right up there. Indeed over the course of 24 hours this just built and expanded in the most impressive of ways. It's a minerally pinot noir, smoky and spicy, with red cherried flavour run through with herbs and twigs and undergrowth. In its infancy, now, it somehow manages to be quite remarkably complex; it will only add from here. Certainly it's light but this is an outstanding pinot noir. - Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front, 95+ points
The Finer Details
Style - Red Wine
Varietal - Pinot Noir
Country - Australia
Region - Geelong, Victoria
Vintage - 2022
Bottle Size - 750ml
ABV - 13.5%