Halliday Wine Companion 2018


2015 Volta Brackets Marsanne – 95 points

“From the Warramunda Vineyard in Coldstream planted ’01, hand-picked, whole bunch-pressed, a cool wild yeast fermentation in puncheons for 6 months, partial mlf, matured on lees for 9 months, no stirring. Goes a long way to make a silk purse (in terms of present drinking) out of a sow’s ear. It has exceptional mouthfeel and flavour, more citrus than honeysuckle or pear, the oak more evident as texture than flavour.”

2015 B Minor Pinot Noir – 96 points

“Hand-picked from a hillside site in Coldstream and a valley floor vineyard at Yering, a portion of each fermented with whole bunches, the remainder whole berries and left on skins for 28 days, matured for 18 months in puncheons before blending. Bright and clear, yet deep, crimson-purple; extreme attention to detail goes hand in glove with great grapes, hence wine. Its song has siren allure, the opening bars on the bouquet with notes of spice and fruit forest floor threaded through predominantly red fruits. The palate picks up the theme without missing a beat, at once silky yet firm, and with great length. Great value.”

2015 B Minor Chardonnay – 96 points

“Hand-picked from two vineyards, one valley floor, the other in Coldstream, whole bunch-pressed, wild-fermented with high solids in puncheons, matured for 14 months with occasional stirring before blending. Bright straw-green; Ben Haines at his best, the music sensitively played from start to finish. The most remarkable is his ability to conjure up so much varietal fruit with only 12.1% alcohol – normally the sauvignon blanc dragon would be threatening. So, forgetting numbers, the flavour set of white peach and grapefruit, intermixed with cashew, is totally commanding. Did I say value? YES.”

2015 B Minor Shiraz Marsanne – 95 points

“Hand-picked from the Dabyminga Vineyard in Tallarook, fermented in two batches: 100% whole bunches (including ?a few whole bunches’ of marsanne) wild yeast open-fermented, the other whole berries with a small percentage of crushed fruit and some marsanne skins, both batches matured on ’14 marsanne lees for 14 months in used oak. An elegant wine is the result of some some sophisticated winemaking (and some sophistry with ?5% marsanne’ on the labels). Never mind, the wine is vibrantly fresh with red and black fruits rippling through the medium-bodied palate, fine tannins providing the ever-so-logical conclusion.”

olivier michelet