Hochkirch Maximus Pinot Noir 2021


This is the best Pinot Noir that John can produce each year at Hochkirch, some years it is not made. These are the oldest vines and the best barrels. This wine always has a sensual, elegant mouthfeel but with outstanding retention of acidity and freshness and a distinctive earthy, sappy complexity which is the terroir. Pure, long and complex this will age well, the wine’s terrific stony lift on the finish gives it nice definition. This 2021 comes in at 12.5% alc and is one of the best he has made yet.


96 Points – Mike Bennie. The Winefront


Certified Biodynamic. Vegan Suitable.

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Producer Profile

Located in Henty and beginning in 1990, John and Jennifer Nagorcka’s domain stretches to 700 acres, with a tiny 20 acres under vine. The entire property is biodynamic and the wines are made as naturally as possible. Handpicking, wild fermentation, ageing in old oak and minimal sulphur use.  All vines are on their own rootstocks, which is rare in Victoria and the soil is loamy, over gravel and clay. Good quality soils with excellent water holding capacity have encouraged close planting of between 5000-6000 vines per hectare. The vines are trained low to the ground, to capture the reflected and absorbed heat of the soil, making for tough, physical work

This is cold country, even by European standards, and it has to be said through an Australian lens these wines taste and feel unique. The reds display a coolness of fruit, ripeness without sweetness, pure textures, lacy tannins and a graphite like minerality. The pinots in particular are of their site, combining red, black and blue fruits and effortless, weightless power.

The Chardonnay from the Tarrington vineyard, their own but 6 kms from the Hochkirch vineyard, is reminiscent of the whites of Auxerre in Burgundy. Cool, fleshy stone, citrus fruit and white flowers combine with a soft, creamy lanolin like texture. Riesling too is high toned, but with a deep core and textural depth almost unrivalled in Australia. Rich and chewy, with herbs and preserved vine leaf, this is a tour de force in Riesling reimaging.

Hochkirch and Tarrington are little known, eschewing wine journalists.  They do not conform to the “sunshine” style so typical in Australian wine, the fruit is ripe, savoury and never sweet. It’s as if you have just picked a grape and popped it into your mouth, such is the gentle and crystalline purity of fruit. Winemaking is a means to an end, without imparting unnecessary influence. Food versatile and gourmand, a stunning companion at table, or wines to be savoured over the course of an evening.

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