5 Stars and 18.5+/20, Raymond Chan.
The Desert Heart ladies Denny Downie and Jane Gill continue their Bannockburn wine dream, now having acquired another piece of land on Felton Road. There are existing stocks of wine made that will carry them through as they gear themselves up with their extensive contacts and friends in sourcing fruit and making new Desert Heart wines.
Even ruby-red colour with garnet hues, lighter on edge. This has a full and voluminous bouquet with ethereal aromas of dark red berry fruits and lifted red florals interwoven with subtle earth, undergrowth and mushroom notes, some volatility and spicy oak. With aeration, a deep core of black fruits becomes revealed and grows in intensity with complexing dark herb and cedary oak detail. Medium-full bodied, the palate features rich and lusciously ripe, juicy black berried fruits, dark plums, liquorice and spices, the flavours enlivened by bright acidity, providing a vibrant, energetic palate line. Complex layers of undergrowth, dried herbs and Asian sauces unfold, along with fine-grained, powdery tannins lending structure and line. The wine flows to long, succulently sweet, fine-textured finish. This is a rich, concentrated, lively and ripe black-fruited Pinot Noir with secondary interest and fine structure. Match with lamb, beef, venison over the next 6-8+ years. Fruit given a cold soak and indigenous yeast fermented with 10-15% whole clusters to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 30% new French oak barrels followed by another 6 months in seasoned oak. 50 cases made. 18.5+/20 Jul 2015.