Tricia Byrnes and Kevin Bell first planted vines at their Balnarring property in 1998 with the sole intention of creating three single vineyard pinot noirs. Their philosophy centers around respect of the environment as they see their most important role is viticulture. Their wines are from three separate vineyards with slightly different aspects that are planted with different clones of pinot noir.
Garamond comprises 1.2 ha of easterly aspect. It gets the gently warming morning sun. It exudes peace, calm and fecundity. It is the good child. It sets well, but does not overcrop. It is balanced in every way. After shoot thinning, we do very little in Garamond, except to genuflect. The purity of the fruit and the fineness of the tannins can be tasted while the grapes are ripening on the vines. It is all of clone MV6, which came from pre-phylloxera stock brought to Australia from Burgundy in the very early 1800’s by that pioneer of Australian viticulture, James Busby. Garamond is a perfect marriage of vine and place, the apotheosis of Hurley Vineyard terroir. It was planted in 1998.
It is bright ruby in colour. The dreamy, other-worldly, red-rose of a nose has raspberries, currents, cherries and almonds with flowers and talc. The medium-weight palate has pure and intense flavours of all of the above plus a texture of silk that comes from finely-grained tannins. Racy acidity drives this energetic wine to an ultra-long, widely-flaring, contemplative coda.
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