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Hillcrest is located in the heart of Melbourne's picturesque Yarra Valley, one of Australia's oldest wine regions. Planted in 1970, it was one of the pioneers in the re-establishment of the Valley, and it is this vineyard which provides the old-vine resource from which the rare Reserve, Premium and Estate wines are made. Purchased in 1999, the neglected 39-year old vineyard was re-trellised to allow for better canopy management. Now farmed along organic principles, herbicides, pesticides, fertilisers and other systemic spraying have been eliminated. The entire vineyard is unirrigated and the vines must work to support themselves. Recent drought conditions caused little disturbance at Hillcrest as the older vines, having established their own deep root systems over 39 years, drew on moisture deep within the ground to sustain themselves. The result continues to be exquisitely concentrated and healthy fruit.
Opens with a doughy/plastic tubs kind of smell, which given a good decant or time to settle, fades into the distance. Aside that a twitch of volatility, dark cherry and chocolate, earthiness, meat and fine grained saturating black tea tannin. It feels dense and firmly structured, with fine acidity and very good length. I think it’s going to be a surprise package, and will rate higher again with time. Tasted: Feb 2017; Price: $30; Closure: Diam; Drink: 2019-2028+; Rating: 93+ Points; Gary Walsh; The Wine Front


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