98 Points & Top 100 Wines of 2018 James Halliday
98 Points Ned Goodwin
The fifth release of their single vineyard Pinot Noir from the Meadowbank vineyard in the upper Derwent Valley in Southern Tasmania. Grapes came from MV6 and Pommard clone vines planted in 1989.
The vineyard received good spring and early summer rainfall which resulted in excellent vine health however inclement weather around fruit set reduced crop levels. Temperatures during ripening were slightly above average but there was an absence of heat spikes which allowed even ripening.
The lower crop levels produced intensely flavoured grapes which ripened slightly ahead of normal with hand picking taking place on 2nd April.
Forty percent of whole bunches were placed in the bottom of open fermenters with the remaining fruit destemmed and crushed on top. After four days of cold soaking natural fermentation kicked off and proceeded to dryness within 10 days after which the fermented must was basket pressed.
After pressing the wine was briefly settled and transferred to Taransaud French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and maturation over 10 months. Forty percent of the barrels were new and included some T5 barriques made from five year seasoned Troncais oak. During maturation the wine took on a brilliant hue and developed a rich velvety texture.
The wine evokes a complex aroma of wild strawberries, forest floor, and the funk of natural fermentation. The palate is richly flavoured and supported by layers of soft tannins. Naturally balanced acidity and a modest alcohol level of 12.9% are a testament to a great vintage and perfectly ripened grapes.
“A sumptuous and svelte pinot noir, this is reminiscent of Chambolle-Musigny. A lustrous ruby hue parlays with wood smoke, bonbons and a hint of undergrowth. Layer upon layer of flavour plays out across an expansive palate, finishing with a lick of briar. This oozes class.” – 98 Points Ned Goodwin
“A brilliant wine in every respect, standing up to the younger vintages coming through, notably ’17. This wine has the fluid focus and seamless fruit of the best ‘17s, effortlessly laying its complexity across the bouquet and palate alike. Tasmania will set the standard for mainland vintages to emulate.” – 98 Points & Top 100 Wines of 2018 James Halliday