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.
Lodestone comprises 1.4 ha of northerly aspect. It is full of energy from the direct sun. This is a powerful climat and capable of anything. It is the difficult child. We submit to its essential nature and hope it accepts our guidance. This vineyard seems to race ahead of us every vintage, a danger to itself and us. But it always rewards our efforts. It has more rock and stones in the soil than Hommage and Garamond. Ripeness is never a problem here. It has the modern Dijon clones 114, 115 and 777, and the wonderful MV6 (see under Garamond below). It was 90% planted in 1999 (clones 114, 115 and MV6). The rest was planted in 2004 (clone 777).
Medium ruby in colour. The intense and pure nose has black cherries and cassis with crushed nuts and an overtone of sage. The luscious palate has flavours in the same fruity-nutty-herbal range and fine, soft drying tannins. A precise line of fine acidity drives the wine towards a long, flaring finish. As with all three of these wines, the oak plays only a best-supporting role.
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