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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.

The first feature that emerges about the 2013 vintage is the depth and intensity of the colour of the Pinot Noirs. The 2013 ‘Estate’ is dense and deeply coloured with red hues to the rim. There is a ‘rush’ of fresh berries on the nose and this accompanied by exotic and most powerful earthiness and mushroom characters. The nose is quite deep and intense with rich cherry and some berry fruits as well as a little spice and meats. The palate is very fine, if very assertive at the same time. There are lovely red berry flavours with a real acid backbone. The tannins are supple and in abundance and this will ensure a medium term cellaring future. This is layered, long, textured and quite powerful wine in line with the style of Bass Phillip Pinot Noir. Rating: 96 Points; Phillip Jones

 

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