Owner and winemaker, Keppel Smith has been steadily toiling away in his vineyard since the estates inception in 1996 creating amazing wines that have been gaining serious attention worldwide.
The wines undergo a natural fermentation using only indigenous yeasts, see roughly 50% new oak and are bottled unfiltered. They are then only released when winemaker Keppell Smith believes they are ready for market.
The fruit is grown on ancient granitic “buckshot” over decomposed clay. These unique gravels are rich in minerals and provide excellent drainage whilst the clay provides some sustained water to the vines in summer. This ancient, poor soil naturally limits the cropping level to less than 4.5 tons per hectare.
'To my personal tastes – as opposed to straight scoring – this is the best Savaterre Pinot Noir yet released. It has power and length but more delicacy – let’s call it prettiness – than previous releases. It’s made with 85 percent whole bunches. This will be released in February 2014.
Put this wine in your mouth and watch the tail unfurl. The vintage, a change of oak cooper, the age of the vineyard, earlier picking, adjustment to the viticulture – not sure exactly how this has stepped into the next echelon but it has. Its maker and grower, Keppell Smith, says “it’s just Keppell getting a bit smarter”. Line of acid and tannin is superb. It’s an exceptional wine. Dark, meaty, ashen, smoky, has some fruit grunt but it’s fresh and tangy and lively. If you have any doubts over Beechworth’s ability to make outstanding pinot noir on occasion, then try this, and watch the vapour of doubt float out the window.'
95 points - Campbell Mattinson, winfront.com