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Savaterre and its fearless frontman Keppell Smith sit squarely amongst the inner sanctum of top-flight Beechworth producers.
Located on the ‘Golden Mile’ of Beechworth vineyards, this producer’s reputation for churning out outstanding Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Shiraz is formidable, to say the least.
The 2012 vintage of the Pinot Noir was, in Campbell Mattinson’s words “To my personal tastes – as opposed to straight scoring – this is the best Savaterre Pinot Noir yet released.” With a pedigree as impressive as this wine’s, that is a big call but a deserved one.
With a healthy amount of whole-bunch (85%) and the deft application of the finest Burgundian oak, Smith has clearly articulated the vineyard’s voice in the 2012 release. It is an epic wine, built of lean muscle and tension - one that is a glorious drink now or a serious cellaring proposition for those with patience and time.
What It Tastes Like
“Put this wine in your mouth and watch the tail unfurl. The vintage, a change of oak cooper, the age of the vineyard, earlier picking, adjustment to the viticulture – not sure exactly how this has stepped into the next echelon but it has. Its maker and grower, Keppell Smith, says “it’s just Keppell getting a bit smarter”. Line of acid and tannin is superb. It’s an exceptional wine. Dark, meaty, ashen, smoky, has some fruit grunt but it’s fresh and tangy and lively. If you have any doubts over Beechworth’s ability to make outstanding pinot noir on occasion, then try this, and watch the vapour of doubt float out the window.” - Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
96 points. “Beechworth isn’t the easiest place to grow pinot noir but the gods were especially kind this season. This is a beautiful wine. It unfurls in your mouth as you drink it. Keen, smoky oak. Dark, meaty, (black)-cherried fruit. And stalky notes of dried herbs and ash. It’s a tangy, lively, lengthy wine with its array of flavours fluttering out through the finish.”
- James Halliday (Australian Wine Companion)
95 points “To my personal tastes – as opposed to straight scoring – this is the best Savaterre Pinot Noir yet released. It has power and length but more delicacy – let’s call it prettiness – than previous releases. It’s made with 85 percent whole bunches. This will be released in February 2014.
Put this wine in your mouth and watch the tail unfurl. The vintage, a change of oak cooper, the age of the vineyard, earlier picking, adjustment to the viticulture – not sure exactly how this has stepped into the next echelon but it has. Its maker and grower, Keppell Smith, says “it’s just Keppell getting a bit smarter”. Line of acid and tannin is superb. It’s an exceptional wine. Dark, meaty, ashen, smoky, has some fruit grunt but it’s fresh and tangy and lively. If you have any doubts over Beechworth’s ability to make outstanding pinot noir on occasion, then try this, and watch the vapour of doubt float out the window.”
- Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
“Magnificent Smith!” exclaimed the Pope of Pinot at the Langton’s Classification IV Sydney event upon tasting our 2012 Pinot. The highest honour, in my opinion, I can receive in Australia. I will let you all guess who you think is the person whom I consider the Pope of Pinot.
I’m very humbled that so many people are enjoying this vintage. Seeing something evolve over time is a great joy to me and it’s a pleasure to share that.
2012 was a special vintage coming off the back of the 2011 disaster where no crop was picked at all.
Cool nights warm days and fabulous rainfall - not too much!
I’ve made a few changes to the winemaking as well this vintage. Taking more risks. Walking on the wild side…even more than usual!
Most importantly I’ve started importing my own French oak. I can now be guaranteed of getting the very best due to my relationship with the family and their superior oak sourced from a family member who is one of France’s largest oak buyers.
A brilliant clear wine, medium garnet coloured.
A complex lifted fresh nose of rose petals, plum, sour cherry and spice.
Bright acids and fine tannins support a tightly wound fine core of earthy, mineral driven fruit flavours .Autumnal notes of dark plum, wild berry, and sour cherry flavors infused with cinnamon , clove and allspice . Full bodied, beautifully concentrated, with superb purity, creamy Burgundian texture and a long, concentrated finish.
Really happy with this wine. It will age amazingly.
All grapes under this label are sourced exclusively from the Savaterre Vineyard in Beechworth.
It is imperative to open this wine at least 2 - 3 hours ahead of drinking if you are going to experience the layers of complexity the palate has to deliver. This is particularly relevant if you intend to enjoy to consume this wine in the next two years.
Unfiltered. Store at 14C.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Alcohol: Drink Until:
Beechworth is a small wine producing region with a big reputation. The distinctive terroir in this part of the country produces some of our most iconic wines. If you want serious Chardonnay or Rhone-inspired Shiraz/Syrah, you want to get to know Beechworth. Some of the most powerful cool climate wines in the country hail from here, and some of our future stars are making it their home. The future looks very bright for this champion Victorian region.
No variety captures the hearts and minds of the wine lover quite like Pinot Noir. It’s the unicorn of many a winemaker. Notoriously fickle to grow, this delicate red variety can deliver a kaleidoscope of flavours and aromas, from the bright and floral to the moody and mysterious and everything in between. The cooler regions of Australia are where Pinot Noir is most at home. Look to Tasmania and Victoria for the best examples, with some quality wines beginning to show from the Great Southern and from the cooler parts of NSW. Falling in love with Pinot Noir can be a life long affair, beware the charms of this most enchanting of grapes.
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