James Halliday's "reminiscent of a young DRC" remark - penned for the 2012 De la Terre - was, and is, a wonderful endorsement for this nascent, close-planted site. The quality of the 2013 will only add lustre to that quote. For those who may have not tasted a wine from this vineyard, De la Terre is a small, sub one-hectare, dry-grown vineyard planted to 10,000 vines/ha that borders the famed Serré (in fact the Serré vines sit on a little plateau next to the slope where De la Terre is planted). The planting density - still very rare in an Australian setting - results here in a natural yield of around 500g per vine (or less). In other words, about Grand Cru Burgundy levels per vine. So, the first secret to the quality of this wine, terroir withstanding, is the yield per vine (the second is yield per vine, and the third is yield per vine ;-).
Even at this young age, the 2013 is incredibly floral and aromatic suggesting blood plums, rose, exotic spice and some sappy, mixed herb notes. The palate delivers plenty of flesh and easy-going power. There's real density, fine tannins and the length of flavour is exceptional. Without question, it's a Bannockburn Pinot that puts this vineyard into Australia's elite. Elevage took place in 300-litre hogsheads for almost 20 months, and the wine was bottled without fining or filtration.
Bannockburn Vineyards is located 25 kms north-west of Geelong, along the Midland Highway, just outside the township of Bannockburn.
All Bannockburn wines are produced from estate-grown fruit off our 27 hectares of vines. Situated on 3 separate sites, the vineyard soil profile ranges from black brown volcanic loam to dense clay sitting on a limestone base, and are generally of low fertility. The first vineyard was planted in 1974 with subsequent plantings during the early 1980's, making them among the oldest in the Geelong region.
Our most recent planting in 2007 is a high density 2 hectare block of Pinot Noir and Shiraz on a north facing slope.
The average rainfall of 600mm. occurs mainly in winter and spring, although with the affect of the ongoing drought has been considerably lower and the rainfall is consistently much lower than neighbouring wine growing regions such as Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula.
The maritime influence over our weather ensures mild temperatures and long sunshine hours. It is normal to experience a pattern of stable, dry and low humidity conditions over the grape growing season from budburst in mid September through to the end of harvest in late April, thus allowing for a mild, extended ripening period and ideal conditions for producing healthy fruit and gradual flavour development in the grapes.
All the established vineyards are dry-grown, this along with poor soil fertility, low rainfall, close-plantings and strong prevailing winds make for a tough growing environment that naturally restricts yields. These are the conditions that make up the terroir from which our unique wine flavours and wine structure are derived.
|Wine Red Pinot Noir