Mike and Judy Press established their Kenton Valley Vineyards in 1998, when they purchased 34ha of land in the Adelaide Hills at an elevation of 500m. Over the next two years they planted mainstream cool climate varieties (merlot, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot noir), intending to sell the grapes to other wine producers. Even an illustrious 42-year career in the wine industry did not prepare Mike for the downturn in grape prices that followed, and that led to the development of the Mike Press wine label.
Mike is in love with the grape of Burgundy and in the words of wine writer Tyson Stelzer of Wine Taste Weekly: "Mike Press has been working like a demon to refine pinot noir in his single vineyard at Lobethal, high in the Adelaide Hills".
From the estate 777 clone plantings, the crop thinned three times, a very expensive approach, but which has paid dividends with the generosity of the varietal fruit flavours - strawberry, raspberry and red cherry all in play. Will warm the cockles of pinot noir devotees. All this for $17! Drink by: 2025; Price: $17.00; Date Tasted: Sept 2018; Alcohol: 13.8%; Rating: 92 Points; James Halliday; Wine Companion
Bunch thinning thrice during the growing season and maturation in French oak does not sound like the recipe for a pinot noir that sells for less than $17. It tastes like it's worth double its price, an elegant expression of this high vineyard, capturing rose petal fragrance and morello cherry and strawberry hull flavours, framed in finely structured tannins and tangy acidity. It carries with length and character, and will blossom in time, propelled as much by acidity as tannin. Alcohol: 13.8%; Drink: 2020-2025; Price: $17.00; Rating: 91 Points; Tyson Stelzer
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