Bannockburn 1314 A.D. Pinot Noir 2016
The last vintage of Bannockburn’s entry-level (ish) 1314 Pinot I had was wild. Polarising wild. With 100% whole bunches, it was a sappy, bitter beast that had depth, but was way too brutal for a $30 Pinot.
But there’s been changes at this Geelong icon, with Michael Glover exiting and Bannockburn’s new winemaker Matt Holmes changing the style (if just a little).
With the new ’16 vintage of 1314 Pinot that equals less whole bunches (just 20%) but the same recipe otherwise – so still sourced from Bannockburn’s Ann’s Pinot block, wild fermented and matured for 8 months in oak.
Stylistically, this taps into the very best of the Bannockburn styles, with still the same sappy, ripe and very Pinoty nose. This is Geelong Pinot mate, and it smells unlike Burgundy (terroir at work).
Importantly, this has a length of sappy, almost stewed (but not in an overripe sense) fruit, and some late bitterness for backbone. The stems are there, but so is that fruit too, in a not-delicate-but-delicious style.
I’ve tasted a bit of Burgundy recently, and know that if you slipped this into a blind lineup of village level wines, it would smash many. Yet price-wise we’re talking about a wine that sells for sub $30AUD, which is more akin to shitty Bourgogne prices (in Australia at least).
Substantial wine for the dollars. Best drinking: 2017-2023. 18/20, 93/100. 12.5%, $30. Would I buy it? Yes.