This Applecross Pinot Noir is sourced from 1.5ha of close planted vines. Naturally fermented for two weeks followed by four days on skins. For the 2016 vintage, David added one new barrel to the mix bringing the new oak quotient to a mere 13% with the balance being well-seasoned barrels. Ten months on lees and little else before the 185 dozen were bottled.
Winemaker David Bicknell and viticulturist Nicky Harris established their family winemaking project in 2011. Since then, Bicknell FC won Halliday’s Best New Winery in 2015 and in 2017 he was named Gourmet Traveller WINE Magazine Winemaker of the Year (primarily for his work as Oakridge. Yes, that David Bicknell). Work which led to that winery’s first entry in the Langton’s Classification of Australia WIne in 2018. In short, David Bicknell is one of Australia's best and most accomplished winemakers.
During retraining of this vineyard it was found that some of the vines were chardonnay. So this pinot noir has a tiny percentage of chardonnay included. It's a lifted, inviting pinot noir where everything seems natural and easy even though its message is complex. It's spicy, bunchy, cherried, alive with rose petal notes and ever-so-slightly minty. Tannin feels as though it was born on an emery board. Needless to say, the quality is high.
95 points, Wine Companion (January 2018)
I only saw this relatively briefly as it was tasted among a large-ish (for me) number of wines, but the tannin here is ultra-fine, the texture slippery and svelte, and the fruit marginally more prominent that it is in the 2015. Bells of twig, spice and general whole-bunch notes chime clearly throughout, mint characters whispering above. I liked this quite a lot.
94 points, The Wine Front (April 2018)
Yarra ValleyThe Yarra Valley was first planted by the Ryrie brothers who explored a way through the Snowy Mountains to the Yarra Valley, planting grapes in 1838 just three years after the foundation of Melbourne. A wine industry (developed by Swiss Settlers particularly Hubert de Castella and Baron Guillaume de Pury in the 1850s) thrived during the gold rush era and heyday of the 19th century. However, the end of the gold rush brought the wine industry into decline and it was not until the 1970’s that the modern wine industry started up again. The region is probably Australia’s best-known cool-climate area, yet it is really a patchwork of meso-climates. This varied topography creates an incredible set of variables. Vineyards are planted on elevations of 50 to 400m on varying aspects and management programmes. The more exposed sites are subject to severe spring frosts and winds. Overall, the area experiences a relatively high rainfall pattern and is known for its temperature extremes during ripening. Site selection is crucial, with the best vineyards often located where the original vines were once planted, generally on sandy clay loams and gravels. The Yarra Valley is well known for high quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Blends with Shiraz increasingly garnering attention. Sparkling wine production is also extremely important, with many of Australia’s finest examples produced in the region.