Bass Phillip is located in prime dairy country near Leongatha in South Gippsland in an area widely known for its regular rainfall pattern. The vineyards have a north-easterly aspect and are planted on deep silty loams with a high iron content, a factor that gives tremendous colour to the fruit.
Phillip Jones is a perfectionist and crops his fruit at incredibly low levels to achieve his objectives in flavour development. Phillip Jones calls his Pinot Noir precocious. He believes strongly in a gentle hand. Racking is kept to a minimum and no pumps are used in the winery. "The difference between good and great Pinot Noir is texture. Wine flows through a pipe like a fast running stream - at speed in the centre and slow on the sides - the sheer force created by the pump just tears the wine apart." Bass Phillip uses a philosophy of low input viticulture and winemaking. Phillip Jones is increasingly employing biodynamic principles in his vineyard. Ultimately his priority is to produce a wine that is completely natural and which expresses vineyard site. This may sound simple, but such a high standard does require a relentless pursuit of perfection – and a degree of madness.
With a hint of development in an otherwise light yellow appearance there are appealing nutty aromatics with lemony overtones, spices, some minerality and just a hint of savoury oak character. To provide a little more complexity there are grapefruit and peach aromatics. At the front of the palate the ripeness of fruit is evident in an intense ‘sweet’ lemon flavour that persists through the middle palate and allows the soft texture to complete the impression. This wine shows excellent acidity that will ensure short to medium term development. A wine of ripeness and underlying richness. Rating: 96 Points; Phillip Jones
Medium to full yellow; generous colour. Some chicken stock aroma, yeast-lees creaminess, rich and complex. The same in the mouth: very rich, dense, concentrated and fleshy, with marvellous texture and aplomb. Very long finish; quite savoury as opposed to fruity. Beautiful balance. Rating: 95 Points; Huon Hooke
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