Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2014
It's a case of quality over quantity when it comes to the 2014 Pinot Noir. The 2014 vintage produced the smallest crop in recent times at Bannockburn-which is saying something at this notoriously low cropping estate. As usual the estate Pinot is predominantly sourced from the Olive Tree Hill vineyard and Anne's Block, but 2014 includes an abnormally healthy glug of the close-planted Serré and De La Terre fruit included in the final blend. 80% whole bunch fermented, wild, in Bannockburn's 4 tonne open fermenters, before being fed into hogsheads, 1/3 new. After 12 months, the wine was racked and then returned to older barriques for a further 7 months maturation before being bottled without fining or filtration. There are layers of plummy and earthy fruit, interwoven with complex bramble, liquorice and that strong salinity for which the Bannockburn terroir is famous. On one level it's really fine and pretty but we also find hidden depths, and with it the promise of a great future.
The Wine Front – This is earthen. And undergrowthy. And bunchy. It’s a forest of herbs and soils, nuts and stems, with flashes of truffle and tomato thrown in for good measure. The full box and dice, you might say. It has power too, fruit power, and a spread of drying tannin. It will mature in complex fashion. It will always be an arresting wine and it will always provoke conversation; it will not go quietly into the good night. Choose your own rating; it’s its own beast.
James Halliday – Deeply coloured; a very complex, full-bodied pinot with dark berry fruits, spice and oak on the bouquet and an opulently textured palate; firmish tannins ex whole bunches and acidity keep the wine corralled.
In a mixed or straight case: $56.04