- The Home of Artisan Australian Wine!
No variety tells the story of its terroir quite like Pinot Noir. And the Hillcrest Premium Pinot Noir has one great story to tell. This is one of the original sites planted during the 1970s in the Yarra Valley. Dry grown on a sublime site in the cool Southern reaches of the region, these old vines produce one of the country's most intensely powerful Pinot Noirs. The style of winemaking behind this wine was established by Phillip Jones (of Bass Phillip fame). The 2015 release is like a great classic car: muscular, graceful and head-turning. This small batch, premium Pinot Noir is one of the gems of the Yarra Valley and is not to be missed.
What it Tastes Like
"What a powerhouse! It’s the old Hillcrest velvet fog yet again, with palate-saturating fine-grained tannin buried in ripe dark cherry and raspberry, earthiness, baking spices and spearmint/foresty flavours. Acidity is tangerine-laced and almost spicy, and the finish is layered and superbly long. Intensity. Personality. Pleasure. Absolutely wonderful." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
95 points. "Hillcrest Vineyard, while being in the cool Upper Yarra, are distinctly different to just about any other Yarra Valley Pinot Noir. Tiny yields. Hands-off winemaking. Remarkable vineyard site. What a powerhouse! It’s the old Hillcrest velvet fog yet again, with palate-saturating fine-grained tannin buried in ripe dark cherry and raspberry, earthiness, baking spices and spearmint/foresty flavours. Acidity is tangerine-laced and almost spicy, and the finish is layered and superbly long. Intensity. Personality. Pleasure. Absolutely wonderful." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
Hillcrest is located in the heart of Melbourne's picturesque Yarra Valley, one of Australia's oldest wine regions. Planted in 1970, it was one of the pioneers in the re-establishment of the Valley, and it is this vineyard which provides the old-vine resource from which the rare Reserve, Premium and Estate wines are made. Purchased in 1999, the neglected 44-year old vineyard was re-trellised to allow for better canopy management. Now farmed along organic principles, herbicides, pesticides, fertilisers and other systemic spraying have been eliminated. On the southern side of the Yarra Valley, the vineyard benefits from higher elevation and a cooler climate than the valley floor. The soils are low in fertility yet complex in structure. A thin layer of grey gravel top-soil sits over a complex yellow-grey clay loam, which changes in colour (to red/brown) and mineral content as the depth increases. The entire vineyard is unirrigated and the vines must work to support themselves. Recent drought conditions caused little disturbance at Hillcrest as the older vines, having established their own deep root systems over 40 years, drew on moisture deep within the ground to sustain themselves. The result continues to be exquisitely concentrated and healthy fruit. Typically the 1970 plantings, some eight acres of vines, will yield around 3 tonnes of Pinot Noir and 1 tonne each of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon - around 0.7 tons per acre! Yield per vine is the major determinant - around 400g each. Bunch weights are naturally low, around 35g-40g each. The berries are small and intense, often the size of small peas, allowing a high ratio of skin to juice. More recent plantings crop only marginally higher at around 900kg per acre as a result of denser plantings. Two vineyard extensions, each around six acres in size (planted in 2000 and 2005), will over the longer term provide the necessary resources to expand, however we do not intend to include this fruit under the Estate label until the vines reach 15 years of age, and 20 years of age before they will be considered for the Premium label. A separate Village classification is used for these wines in the meantime. Consistent with the old vineyard, the newer blocks (if they can still be called that) are unirrigated and unfertilised, which means they require a number of years to establish themselves. Whilst many vineyards aim to produce a reasonably-sized crop in the third year, the newer unirrigated blocks took between 5 and 8 years to produce their first crops, but the quality was well worth the wait! Fruit is picked at optimum ripeness - ideally between 12.5 and 13.0 baume. For our site this enables full physiological ripeness, and flavour and tannin development, yet also allows retention of natural acid, keeping the fruit in balance and providing the backbone essential for good ageing.
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2030
About the Producer
Hillcrest is an elite Yarra Valley producer. The wines, farmed and vinified by owners David and Tanya Bryant, are some of the finest in the region. Every wine produced is grown on the estate; the Premium and Reserve range grown on the impossibly low yielding original plantings from 1970 and the Village wines grown on the younger vineyard extensions in 2000 and 2005. The wines have a power and a presence. They are made in minuscule volumes. They are treasured by avid collectors and have extraordinary longevity. These are gorgeous wines that speak of their site and show the vagaries of vintage, a must have for the serious Yarra Valley enthusiast.
The Yarra Valley stands tall as one of the country’s finest cool-climate wine regions. Only a short jaunt from Melbourne, the Yarra has become a tourist hot-spot for its stunning scenery, high quality produce, and of course, as the home to some of the country’s most iconic wine producers. From the extraordinarily elegant Cabernets and Syrahs that populate the ‘Valley floor’, to the precise and complex versions of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that hail from the higher climes of the Yarra, this region is diverse and in a state of change. As temperatures rise and phylloxera infiltrates each pocket of the Yarra Valley, the range of alternative varieties from continental Europe is sure to increase to create a more colourful picture of the region. The Yarra embodies so much of what is great about the modern Australian wine scene.
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.
Lets get you some vino! We guarantee to make your wine ordering experience as easy and pain-free as possible via fast, reliable, fully insured shipping.
Shipping is FREE for orders of $150 or more and just $9 for any order under $150.
We dispatch the majority of our orders within 24 hours, but well let you know during checkout of any potential minor delays.
For more information on everything shipping-related please see our FAQ, or for any other queries just contact us at email@example.com or 1300 668 385.