1996 Moss Wood Lefroy Brook Vineyard Pinot Noir
For the first time, the 1996 Pemberton Pinot has been sourced from the Lefroy Brook Vineyard which is situated near the Cascades, a popular tourist attraction near Pemberton just off the highway to Northcliffe.
The wine has typical Pemberton regional characters: lifted fruit aromas of dark cherries, beetroot and some Lapsang Souchong overtones. In the case of the latter, some spicy barbecue and smoky, rather than earthy, characters. It has lively fruit flavours and a firm palate structure with the acid and tannins being more obvious than in the Margaret River pinot.
Whereas the pinot noir from the home vineyard tends to produce sweeter fruit flavours, that from Pemberton tends towards the savoury. We are pleased to note the obvious difference between the wines from the two regions, as we wanted the two styles of pinot to be quite distinct.
Click here for further details about The Lefroy Brook Vineyard
The vineyard has a hectare of pinot noir and one of chardonnay laid out in the classic Burgundian manner with the vines one metre by one metre apart with vertical shoot positioning. Surrounded by national park, it has a stunningly picturesque setting: within an apparently natural amphitheatre with a small dam and a background of dense karri forest.
The owners, Perth couple Pat and Barbara Holt, are devotees of the wines of Burgundy. They have released previous vintages from the vineyard under their own label, Lefroy Brook, but the pressures of Dr Pat Holt’s professional life have made the continuation of this approach impossible. As the Holts are perfectionists and great enthusiasts, Moss Wood has been delighted to be given the opportunity to buy grapes from the vineyard.
The pinot from the Lefroy Brook vineyard goes into the bottle sooner than that from Wilyabrup in order to capture its fruit intensity and up-front pinot characters. The Pemberton wine does not show much benefit from long barrel ageing: ten to twelve months seems to be quite adequate. The Margaret River pinot, on the other hand, gains complexity and some earthy characters from eighteen months in oak. This has enabled Moss Wood to bring forward the release time of the Pemberton Pinot.
At this stage, Pemberton has little history and so it is difficult to speculate on the cellaring potential of the wines from this region. However, the chemistry is good and the wine is sound so it seems reasonable to suggest that the wine will benefit from three to five years cellaring.