Clandestine Vineyards Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir 2021

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For a first effort with the legendarily tricky Pinot Noir grape, the team at Clandestine Vineyards have done remarkably well. I suppose that if you wanted to make a Pinot, then the 2021 vintage is the year to start, and the Adelaide Hills the place to source grapes. So far, so good! Sourced from the Tomich Vineyard near the town of Woodside, the team had access to several Burgundian clones of Pinot. 15% whole bunches are used and the remainder of the harvest was crushed into open fermenters with ten days skin contact, hand plunging and then pressed to French oak, 30% of which was new. Eight months maturation in the same oak followed. 

Pale crimson in colour and on the nose and immediately some lovely varietal notes. Brambles, forest floor, tobacco leaf touches. There is some whole bunch involvement that is apparent, though not overly so. The Goldilocks version of whole bunch inclusion, if you like – just right. Spices, cherries, soy, creaming soda notes all emerge. A lovely, savoury Pinot. Silky tannins. Enjoyable now but in two to three years, one suspects an even higher score and a better wine. This really is good value.

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