INTERNATIONAL PINOT NOIR DAY

Holding a special place in the hearts of our Brockenchack family, Pinot Noir is an interesting varietal with an incredible history. Unwaveringly temperamental about where and how it is grown, the Point Noir gape requires a delicate approach, patient dedication and skill, from the vine to the bottle. We've heard it dubbed 'the heartbreak grape'. We've head it referred to as the ultimate “terroir” wine - where the growing conditions determine the quality and character of the wine, but some consider it the pinnacle of a winemaker’s career to be able to craft a great Pinot, and when done correctly the result can deliver one of the most elegant and complex red wines you'll ever taste. It's no surprise then that on Tuesday the 18th of August the world takes a moment to recognise and appreciate this special wine style.

Pinot Noir in ancient times was referred to as ‘pinoz’ dating back to around 1375. After DNA testing in 1993, it was confirmed thatPinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Blanc are all mutations of the same genetic footprint. Originating inFrance’s Burgundy region, where some of the world’s most expensive Pinot Noir comes from, it can be a challenging grape to grow in the best of conditions. There is no doubt that Burgundinians have grasped how to produce this variety to its optimal, but the cool-climate growing conditions of the region also play a major factor.

Brought into Australia in the early 1800s, Pinot Noir was planted in the Yarra Valley, which still produces high-quality Pinot Noir to this day. The cool climates of Tasmania and the Adelaide Hills are also regions where Pinot Noir thrives.

It is renowned for being a temperamental and challenging variety, but with an unwavering enthusiasm for this wine, and particularly a long-time love ofFelton Road’s Pinot Noir, Brockenchack owner Trevor was a man on a mission to deliver a Pinot he could be proud to put his name to. When Trevor decided to have a crack at growing and producing this softer red wine style from our Eden Valley vineyard, he was faced with skepticism and doubt from others in the industry. It’s fair to say he copped a bit of flack, but this only served to fuel his desire to do it… and do it well.

It’s uncommon; Pinot Noir from the Barossa. Some Barossa producers have a Pinot in their range, but often the grapes are sourced from other regions like the Adelaide Hills. But Trevor and winemaker Shawn Kalleske both believed whole-heartedly in the capabilities of our cool climate vineyard in Eden Valley.

We began our Pinot journey back in 2012 hand selecting the three coolest spots on our vineyard, one at the top of hill at our highest altitude of approximately 480m above sea level, and the other two patches sitting at around 450m above sea level, in little pockets where the temperature drops right down at night. We planted four clones across these three patches.

We are currently selling our 2017 (second release)Hare Hunter Pinot Noir, named for Trev’s two grandsons enjoyment for hunting hares in the Pinot patch on top of the hill.

Thecommon tasting characteristicsof Pinot Noir include florals, fruits, earthy flavours such as mushroom and truffle and herbs and spices, including pepper. OurHare Hunter Pinot Noiris a pale crimson colour with lifted violet and cherry aromas, hints of rose and sandalwood, whilst delicate red fruits entice the palate, bringing a slow dance of white pepper spice. It is a savory wine and we use a special French oak that produces a unique tasting experience.

In the past it was believed that Pinot Noir was best opened in the first few years, but over time this has changedand cellaring is now an option for this variety, with cool-climate regions producing Pinots that can age nicely. With that being said we believe ourHare Hunter Pinot Noirwill suit cellaring for up to eight years, under the right conditions. We have only released the two vintages to date however, so time will tell on this cellaring guide.

Like most varietals, Pinot Noir tends to produce better quality grapes from its older, more mature vines. While ours are still young, the accolades keep rolling in and filling up our trophy cabinet for our current release 2017 Hare Hunter Pinot Noir (off five year old vines). To date it has won a gold and four silver medals at various international wine shows, pitted against some of the best Pinots in the world. It would seem we are on the right track, and with much anticipation we look forward to seeing what caliber of wine our vines will produce as they age further... it’s actually very exciting for us.

Pinot Noir is becoming more popular with red wine drinkers who are looking a lighter style red as an alternative to those full-bodied Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvs. As we age our bodies can sometimes shy away form those heavier wines, preferring a lighter bodied style such as a Pinot or ourGrenache. Your type of meal, or the time of day can also call for these lighter style wines.

It is a complex wine to produce from the vineyard to the bottle, but indeed a special variety. OurHare Hunter, grown and produced from our cool climate vineyard in the Barossa’s Eden Valley is a wine we are extremely proud of. Having an international day on which to celebrate this wine that growers and winemakers put so much into, to get it 'just right', makes sense. But we don’t need a special day to open a bottle of our Hare Hunter – this one is in regular rotation on the dinner tables of our whole Brockenchack team.

When pairing our Pinot Noir with food, the options are endless. This versatile wine can be paired with a range of different cuisines and is an ideal wine to pair with duck or roasted chicken, but don’t be afraid to enjoy it with salmon, pasta or casseroles. Trevor loves to pair ourHare Hunterwith lamb, and naturally it also goes very well with hare.

Try it with thisGarlic-Crusted Roast Rack of LamborCrispy Chinese Duck Breast.

So raise a glass of ourHare Hunter Pinot Noirwith us this week and let’s celebrate International Pinot Noir Day together!

Aerate this wine as you pour it and watch its complexities and structure develop with time in the glass. Soft tannins, shying at first, come to life, giving that perfect finishing grip that world class Pinot Noir must accomplish.