Size & Type
The most complete iteration of Pinot from this Bannockburn release. Super fine tannins with line, length and elegance. Red fruits and a perfume of musk. Fine integrated acid. Shape and flow. Complexed by forest floor and a lick of wet wool. Lingering fruit a little roast beetroot.
Historically I’ve seen Bannockburn’s Pinots as a little clumsy, soapy and oxidised lacking sophistication. Having not tasted the wines for a few years, the 2022 Serré is a breath of fresh air!
If this is a sign of what’s to come, there will be more Bannockburn offered in the future.
Out of stock
Certified organic. The 2022 marks a resounding return. This iconic vineyard is responsible for Bannockburn’s most memorable Pinot Noir. The 1.2 hectares of densely planted, low-yielding, own-rooted vines (9,000 per hectare) were planted exclusively to the MV6 clone in 1984 and 1986. The vines sit on the estate’s signature volcanic, basalt and limestone-rich soils. It is likely that this is Australia’s oldest plot of densely planted Pinot Noir—which goes some way to explaining the striking complexity and intense concentration of its wines.
In contrast to the De La Terre, the fruit for Serré was entirely destemmed before fermenting on skins for 10 days. The wine was pressed to hogsheads (33% new) and then left to mature on lees until February 2023. As with previous releases, this is a tightly packed wine layered with precision, fine detail and rumbling power. It will reward patience but will provide plenty of joy for those who cannot or will not, wait.
“This release is a wonder to behold. It’s firm, svelte, powerful and complex, with terrific length and all-round conviction. It’s a wine with X-factor. It tastes of earth and macerated cherries, strawberries and woodsy spice, undergrowth and fresh beet. It captivates you at hello and makes you sorrowful at goodbye. This is Bannockburn at its best, its greatness bell clear.” 96 points, Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front
“A densely planted site, nigh on Burgundian density, underlain by limestone and a maritime tang. This is very good. A bunchy, woodsy campfire spice segues effortlessly to cherry amaro, damson, ume and the fiery waft of the souk. Barely mid-weighted of feel, so detailed and ethereal is it. Intense of flavor and incandescent of energy. Best after 2026. Screw cap.” 95 points, Ned Goodwin MW, jamessuckling.com
Since its establishment by Stuart Reginald Hooper in 1974, Bannockburn Vineyards has been at the vanguard of the Australian fine wine story, producing vineyard designated wines of the highest quality from the start. Lying 25 kilometres northwest of Geelong along the Midland Highway, this heavyweight estate is located in the Moorabool Valley sub-region, just outside the township of Bannockburn. The estate comprises 26 vineyard blocks—including the iconic Serré vineyard (now the site of Australia’s oldest close-planted Pinot Noir vines). Here, Bannockburn’s predominantly mature vines are rooted in one of Victoria’s most unique low-fertility terroirs; volcanic surface debris and ancient seabeds running to richer and darker soils, layered over predominantly limestone bedrock.
Following almost a decade under the steam train of energy and passion that was Michael Glover, Matt Holmes is the winemaker charged with writing the next chapter of this singular estate. Perhaps most significantly, feeling the region was too arid to get the best of the dry-grown, densely-planted vineyards, Bannockburn and Holmes have ‘turned on the tap’ (to encourage the kind of canopies Holmes deems crucial for his vines’ balance). Holmes has also introduced an earlier bottling regime and a more flexible use of whole bunches than his predecessor.
In addition to a core-range glittering with stars, Bannockburn crafts a number of celebrated single-vineyard wines. Bannockburn’s S.R.H. comes off the oldest Chardonnay vines in the Olive Tree Hill Vineyard and is named in recognition of Bannockburn’s founder, Stuart Reginald Hooper. These 12 rows of 39-year-old vines – roots well embedded in the ancient marine sediments – seem to suck the minerality fresh out of their subsoil and so deliver a spine-tingling backbone of fresh, saline minerality to support the intense flavour and texture of this special wine.
All of Bannockburn’s close-planted vineyards are now certified organic. Matt Holmes believes that as soon as he and his team had started the process of improving vine health a few years ago, the upshot in fruit quality was immediately noticeable in the wines.
In the vineyards, Holmes works with Lucas Grigsby, Bannockburn’s viticulturist for over 30 years. Grigsby takes great pride in tending to the vineyards with a strong belief in organic farming practices to maintain the health of the soils and Bannockburn’s vines. Between them, the pair’s viticultural principles are based on a healthy respect for the land and responsible farming, e.g., the use of organic composting and straw mulching to eliminate the need for herbicide sprays and the cultivation of inter-row cover crops to add soil nutrients. The iconic Serré vineyard is a 1.2-hectares of vines planted in 1984 and 1986, exclusively to the MV6 clone the clone that was propagated from the cuttings James Busby sourced from Clos Vougeot in the 19th century. The site has volcanic top-soils, with darker clay over weathered basalt and limestone clay. It’s an organically managed and low-cropping site that produces Bannockburn’s most individual Pinot. Serré is close-planted to 9000 vines per hectare and trellised low with narrow rows, replicating the tough vineyard conditions and low-yield-per-vine approach of Grand Cru Burgundy.
More recently, Michael Glover oversaw the inception, planting and nurturing of the two very special high-density single vineyards — De la Terre and De la Roche. De la Terre is a sub-one-hectare, organically managed vineyard planted to 10,000 Pinot Noir vines per hectare (on a north-south row orientation rather than the east-west of its immediate neighbour, Serré).
Under Holmes’ direction there’s also been a stylistic tilt in the winery, and with his Chardonnay, he’s steering a racier, more mouth-watering course—with less emphasis on lees and oak and more on vibrant acidity and freshness.
Holmes employs minimal additions, wild yeast ferments and low intervention winemaking resulting in wines that are made with integrity and that are distinctively Bannockburn.
Yet it is perhaps the style and quality of Bannockburn’s Pinot Noir in which the changes can be most keenly observed. An earlier-bottling regime and more reticent use of whole bunches are resulting in a purity of expression perhaps never seen under this label.
They say you’ve got to watch out for the quiet ones, and Matt Holmes is overseeing a discreet but careful evolution in both vineyard and winery.
25 kilometres northwest of Geelong along the Midland Highway, the Bannockburn Vineyards estate is located in the Moorabool Valley sub-region, just outside the township of Bannockburn.
Where in the world does the magic happen?
Bannockburn Vineyards, Kelly Lane, Bannockburn VIC, Australia