Chestnut Hill Liberty Pinot Noir 2013
Outside the dress circle of the Yarra Valley, away from the tourist busses and media coverage, there is West Gippsland in the Cardinia Ranges. About an hours drive from Melbourne, Just outside Pakenham on Mount Burnett, is Chestnut Hill, established by grower producers Charlie and Ivka Javor.
On a steeply sloping, north-east facing, site made up of grey clay-loam soils, the vineyard is at about 300m altitude. Views of Western Port Bay and Hastings are to the south. The vineyards aspect and altitude allow for longer ripening periods which increase complexity in the fruit. They pick fruit weeks after most Yarra Valley producers, so it's a very cool site.
If you visit the cellar door in autumn, you will be greeted by the smell of chestnuts roasting; the ideal match for their crisp, zesty, Sauvignon Blanc. Rare apple and plum trees grow on the property too. There is also a plantation of oak, hazelnut and ilex saplings whose roots have been inoculated with black truffle spores -- perfect in a risotto with their Nebbiolo.
The vineyard was planted in 1985 to an acre of Chardonnay and Shiraz. In 1994 more Chardonnay was planted along with Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
Fruit is cool fermented and oak is Sirugue from Nuits-Saint-Georges in Burgundy. The barrels are imported and distributed in Australia by Rick Kinzbrunner of Giaconda and Doug Neal of Paradise IV.
“I first became aware of Sirugue barrels in 1982 while working at Simi Winery in Sanoma County California. At this time I had already established my vineyard in Beechworth with Cabernet, Chardonnay and a small amount of Pinot Noir. Thinking ahead a few years, I realized I was going to need a fairly universal barrel, but one that was especially good with Chardonnay which was my main focus. After tasting through the many types of barrel at Simi, I came to the conclusion that I preferred Sirugue because it gave the overall flavour profiles and integration I was looking for”. — Rick Kinzbrunner, www.sirugueaustralia.com.au
Charlie and Ivka: "A deep garnet colour of medium intensity greets the eyes. This compliments the complex cherry and plum aromas with hints of charry oak and chocolate overtones. Once savoured a complex blend of sweet and spicy fruit flavours are complimented by subtle vanilla oak and firm fine tannins right through the palate. The structure is excellent, the finish long and satisfying."