Gembrook Hill JKM Pinot Noir 2022


Two barrels only, about a third whole bunches. The DNA of the estate in overdrive. Sweet and tangy red fruits of raspberry, English strawberry, plum, cranberry, dark cherry and rhubarb. Lovely succulent palate of incredible textural complexity. Cashmere and slick, yet the finish is bookended by firm skinsy tannins. The fruit is abundant, but what sets this pinot apart is it’s interplay of sweet and savoury spice woven into the fruit. Utterly gorgeous, a real statement of greatness from this incomparable estate. Will only become more singular and wonderful in time. Waters Wine Co 

The intention for this wine is to explore both new viticultural and wine making techniques, while still capturing the essence of the vineyard. The viticultural technique is shoot selection – a refinement of shoot thinning which we have always used in the vineyard. This serves to open up the canopy, reducing disease risk and increasing sunlight into the canopy, while producing more intense fruit. The winemaking technique is the use of some whole bunch fermentation from our newest plantings of Pinot which was then matured in a new French hogshead. This made up a third of the wine while the rest comes from destemmed young vine fruit. There were two barrels of this, both matured in old french oak. The result is a bold, complex, aromatic Pinot with plenty of flavour. Producer’s notes

95 points – Mike Bennie, The Winefront

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Producer Profile

Opulence,  fresh sweet ripe fruit, silk pillow structures and rendered palates, such are the wines of Gembrook Hill. One of the Yarra Valley’s greatest producers, Gembrook Hill has been producing some of the most gorgeous, sensuous and absorbing wines since 1983. Like much of the upper Yarra, Gembrook Hill and surrounds are home to some of valley’s most coveted sites. Cooler and wetter than much of the Valley.

The estate is a single vineyard, planted predominantly to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and a small proportion of Sauvignon Blanc. Sitting in a natural amphitheatre, the soils are rich and red of volcanic origin. The rich soils offset what can nonetheless be a dry site, the vines are unirrigated, with excellent drainage, but also good water holding capacity. This is of great benefit as Gembrook Hill’s use of whole bunches is pioneering. Stems will not ripen, even if the fruit is ripe, if they are under hydric stress, hence the enormous benefit derived from the rich soils. Many red wines in the Yarra Valley are bunchy and stemmy, a result of unripe stems, no matter what the sugar and grape tannin levels are.

Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc and a sparkling wine are all at the apex of Australian quality wine, a remarkable achievement considering the differences of varietals and styles coming from a single site. The site is clearly a great one, as it performs beautifully, even in the most trying conditions and from time to time, winemaking boundaries are pushed. Their “top” Pinot Noir, JKM, named after co-founder June Marks, is the apotheosis of the Gembrook style. Perfectly ripe fruit, about a third whole bunches and a third new oak. Rich, full bodied, luxurious, floral, spicy, silky, and with high toned acidity. Balanced, with all the elements threaded and driving together, the flavours lasting long in the mouth.

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