Bannockburn 1314 a.d. Pinot Noir 2015
This is the first Pinot Noir made by Bannockburn's new winemaker Matthew Holmes, previously of Tantalus Vineyards, Kelowna, in British Columbia. Three vintages from his previous role were awarded “Best wine in Canada”, “Best Riesling in North America”, and “Best White Wine in Canada” by, Master of Wine (MW), Jancis Robinson.
Fruit from the iconic Bannockburn vineyards are used to create this earthy, spicy and subtle Pinot Noir. Often called the "Mini Bannockburn" as stylistically it shows the hallmarks of their estate wine at a fraction of the cost.
Previous winemaker, Michael Glover, made the 2014 vintage of the 1314 a.d. with 100% full stem pressings. Holmes has opted to use 20% whole bunch pressings for the 2015. It's difficult to know if this represents a change in style, as Glover has varied the use of stems since the first vintage in 2011 of this second label wine.
The result has toned down the polarising stalky aromatics of the historic style, which has taken a lot of personality from winemakers past, yet keeps the vibrant, punchy texture with plenty of fresh, dark cherry fruit to go with the subtle, whole bunch complexity.
The fruit for 1314 a.d comes from Ann's Block, a Pinot Noir vineyard planted in 2002, with a density of 2500 vines/ha.
Fermentation: Wild-yeast fermented in open, 4-tonne fermenters before being pressed to French oak barriques (20% new) for 8 months élevage.
Barrel Maturation: 3-5 year old French barriques for 12 months. After a year in oak it was moved back to tank for a further 6 months settling.
"At Bannockburn Vineyards we believe our vineyards are what make our wines unique and provide a true point of difference. Our viticulture and winemaking aim to showcase our vineyard sites as sympathetically as possible.
Matthew Holmes commenced making wine at Bannockburn in 2015. His role as winemaker is to be a servant to the vineyard, to the growing season and to the fruit; working towards producing wine that is a true representation of our style and site.
Organic practice, a belief in dry-grown viticulture, vine age and close planting combine with wild ferments, use of whole bunches, extended maceration times, extended lees contact and a fastidious barrel selection process to make wines that are exciting, unique and clearly identifiable as "Bannockburn". " -- bannockburnvineyards.com