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The Hillcrest Village Pinot Noir packs a lot more punch than your average 'entry level' Yarra Valley Pinot. Grown on the younger Hillcrest estate plantings from 2000 and 2005, this wine has remarkable depth of fruit and serious structure for a wine at this price point. As an entry into the world of Hillcrest, this says it all. A wine stamped with quality, poised to offer the patient drinker plenty more with time in bottle, Gary Walsh gave it 93+ points and the note that it will "I think it’s going to be a surprise package, and will rate higher again with time.". This is exceptional value for any Pinot Noir enthusiast.
What it Tastes Like
"Opens with a doughy/plastic tubs kind of smell, which given a good decant or time to settle, fades into the distance. Aside that a twitch of volatility, dark cherry and chocolate, earthiness, meat and fine grained saturating black tea tannin. It feels dense and firmly structured, with fine acidity and very good length. I think it’s going to be a surprise package, and will rate higher again with time." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
93+ points. "Opens with a doughy/plastic tubs kind of smell, which given a good decant or time to settle, fades into the distance. Aside that a twitch of volatility, dark cherry and chocolate, earthiness, meat and fine grained saturating black tea tannin. It feels dense and firmly structured, with fine acidity and very good length. I think it’s going to be a surprise package, and will rate higher again with time." - Gary Walsh (The Wine Front)
The perfectionist approach extends to the winemaking where in 2002 Phillip Jones, of Bass Phillip fame, assumed the role of winemaker, consultant and teacher to David and Tanya. Phillip's skill, experience and passion have been the perfect complement to their unrelenting, passionate approach, supported by Hillcrest's old vines and immaculate viticultural practices. Over this time, David and Tanya have gradually taken on more of the winemaking as their knowledge and experience has grown. In particular, from the 2005 vintage, the Chardonnay has been made primarily by them, and the highly acclaimed wines from the 2008 vintage are the product of their efforts. At its most fundamental level, however, the great wine regions of Burgundy and Bordeaux are what most influence Hillcrest's winemaking philosophy. Hillcrest wines are made for ageing and reflect many of Phillip's principles, in particular to make wines that have good structure, length and texture. High levels of natural acidity are fundamental to this and Hillcrest is careful to pick at optimum levels which balance ripeness and acidity. The terroir of Hillcrest is one that provides great fragrance, rich fruit, with solid tannin structure and excellent natural acid for ageing. Vintage variation is accepted, even encouraged, and winemaking techniques are refined ever so slightly to suit the particular vintage. Whilst techniques may vary, some fundamental principles and the style of the wines do not. Only wild yeasts are used and under no circumstances are tannins or acid added to the wines. The wines must always be a natural expression of their terroir and vintage. Oak is rightly seen as a background element to enhance the wines structure - it should never be overly dominant. Only the best barrels, typically Francois Freres, are used with around one third new each year, and another third one year old. The wines themselves dictate the timing of new releases - we are in no hurry and know that our patience will ultimately be rewarded.
Closure: Diam Cork
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2028
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.
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