Bass Phillip Premium Pinot Noir: three vintages tasted blind

Bass Phillip produces some of Australia's best pinot noir, with Phillip Jones famed for his approach of no irrigation, no filtration, dense vine plantings and use of indigenous yeasts, all in the unorthodox place of Leongatha - a prime dairy district.  His results can be outstanding.  I loved Bass Phillip's Reserve Pinot Noir from 2008.  Last week, I had the fortune to taste three vintages of Bass Phillip's Premium Pinot Noir, all "blind".  The wines were the 1999, the 2000 and the 2001.  Tasted blind, with the exception possibly of the 1999 with its dried tea character on the palate, these were all easily mistakable for Burgundies.

Unfortunately, though, despite reputation and good storage, all of these wines were past their best, probably well past in fact.  It is interesting to note that the latest auction prices for these vintages are $101, $96 and $153, respectively.  That is, they remain far from cheap.  The wines may nonetheless suit those who enjoy the journey of vintage variation with Phillip Jones' wines at Bass Phillip cf. my recent post on vintage variation.  In my view, these particular wines probably shouldn't rationally command these prices if this tasting reflects where the bottles are now at.  Caveat emptor.
Wine Thoughts
March 17, 2011

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