Hesket Estate Pinot Noir – 2015
Macedon Ranges -Victoria
Situated at an impressively high altitude of 660 metres in the Macedon Ranges, the rustic cellar door at Hesket Estate offers genuine warmth and hospitality. Hesket is open on the first weekend of the month, or by appointment.
Although as a small family run operation they have limited accessibility, owners Elizabeth and Alex are happy to open their cellar door for Perfect Day Tours customers for your own private tasting.
I love taking my customers to Hesket Estate – as I know they will enjoy the heartfelt greeting – as well as the cool climate wines on offer.
In my view, the defining feature of the Macedon Ranges has to be the vibrant natural acidity found in the wines, due to the high altitude and distance from the ocean. This distance gives a continental effect, delivering very cold nights, even if the days are warm during the grape growing season.
Hesket Estate was established in 1983, and subsequently purchased by Elizabeth and Alex in 1993. Having the great advantage of mature, 30 year old vines, the Pinot Noir in particular shows depth and complexity. This is due in no small part to the roots penetrating deep into the red and grey loam soils, absorbing tiny amounts of deeply buried minerals.
Being such a cool climate – Hesket Estate are also renowned for a tantalizing sparkling wine known as ‘The Margaret’. They also produce Riesling, Chardonnay and the highly aromatic Gewurtztraminer. Also on offer are more full bodied varietals of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, with grapes being procured from the warmer northerly region of Heathcote.
I was lucky enough to enjoy an aged, 2007 Hesket Estate Pinot Noir last year. I rated the 2007 as one of the best wines I tasted in 2018. So I was looking forward to tasting the most recent offering.
The current vintage Hesket Pinot Noir is 2015. It is great to see a good pinot with even a few years of bottle age. As the wine opened up, I found tantalizing aromas of black cherry, baking spices, and star anise. I was also reminded of lovingly toasted Sunday morning sourdough – due to the subtle, toasted oak framing in the background.
This is the sort of wine that you may enjoy swirling and sniffing in a big old red wine glass. The bigger the better. I use the Riedel ‘Magnum’ for my tastings, as they have a generous bowl and a short, robust stem. A very good workhorse glass with a low centre of gravity. This means it is harder for the somewhat clumsy to break.
The palate has a delicious cherry pip tang, due to the beautiful natural acidity and high quality fruit from the handpicked vineyard. Hello! – There is a delicious hint of bacon on the back palate, detected as the wine warms in the glass to reveal more hidden charms This desirable note is often associated with certain high quality French oak barrels.
Medium bodied – with soft tannins already well integrated – showing a silky mid palate. Of course the point of difference is the vibrant natural acidity, giving a mouth watering finish. Drinking beautifully now, it will undoubtedly develop even more silkiness and complexity over the next 5 to 10 years. As noted above, the natural acidity in the wine will ensure it ages gracefully.
I found this lovely Pinot Noir sings harmoniously with home cooked, pan fried duck breast, and an Asian inspired sauce. It would also go very well with earthy dishes such as mushroom soup or risotto, as well as roasted beetroot.
Hesket Estate wine is available cellar door or on line.
Cost per bottle – approximately $40.
My score out of 100