Winery notes (2018 Vintage)
"This sexy, understated wine exudes elegance with persistent bright red fruit. The hand harvested fruit was picked from each vineyard at optimal ripeness which occurred on average one month earlier than normal in 2018. The lower (warmer) site was harvested first with the two clones co-fermented in one vessel with 20% whole clusters. The terraced site came a week or so later and was fermented in 2 vessels with 15-25% whole clusters. Including fermentation of about seven days, the average time on skins was 25 days. All three ferments were pressed to 2bar with no press cuts and were settled over night before going to barrel. The wine underwent full malolactic fermentation and was aged in fine grain french oak barrels (28% new) for around 11 months before all components were blended in preparation for bottling.
Aromas of plum, dark cherry, red licorice and rosemary on the nose with the addition of raspberry and cassis on the palate. This sexy, understated wine exudes elegance with persistent bright red fruit, fine tannins and enduring freshness. The athletic frame speaks of its “classic” Bendigo origins, yet it’s supple and graceful side show a character less often found in the sub-region. It’s class in a glass!"
5 Stars & 94/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, May 2020 (2018 Vintage)
"Delightfully fruited and complex, the wine shows dark cherry, thyme, cedar, toasted spice and dark mushroom characters. The palate delivers excellent weight and finely layered mouthfeel brilliantly complemented by fleshy texture and polished tannins, leading to a persistent silky finish. At its best: now to 2024."
5 Stars & 18.5/20 Candice Chow, Raymondchanwinereviews, May 2020 (2018 Vintage)
"Bright, ruby-red colour, lighter on the rim. The nose is coy with gentle notes of dark ripened cherries and sweet plums, unveiling perfume and oak spices. Dry on the palate, sweet scent of black cherries and plums balanced by the right amount of acidity; medium-bodied hauled by silky fine tannin, melded herbaceous fragrant with nutty notes from barrels and seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg spices and a subtle tone of liquorice. This wine shows a sense of place with restrained alcohol, serene acidity and underlying fine-grained tannin extraction. The wine is youthful with plush, sweet-scented ripe fruit with a lightness, serene acidity; firm but silky fine tannin contribute to the weight and texture, providing backbone, layered with herbaceous fragrant, nutty oak and spices. Enjoy with game meat over the next 5+ years. Fruit from Bendigo flat and Chinaman's Terrace, 23% whole bunch, aged 11 months in French oak, 28% new."
Yvonne Lorkin, March 2020 (2018 Vintage)
"Neck of the Woods is the brainchild of AJ Johnson, a long-time television industry professional who got the wine bug bad and set about securing sites that’d deliver pinot noir that wasn’t “mass-produced sh*t”. This vintage hails from two Bendigo vineyards, one on a flat river terrace of sandy loam soils near the Clutha River and the 2nd on the steep-sloped, glacial, schisty, windblown soils of Chinaman’s Terrace. Aromatically it leans right into the cherry and black tea spectrum, with raspberry, blackcurrant and plum notes on the palate. The tannins are fresh yet very smooth and fine-grained, creating a silky, succulent finish that goes for miles."
4 ½ Stars Michael Cooper (2018 Vintage)
"The 2018 vintage was hand-picked at two sites in Bendigo and matured for 11 months in French oak casks (28 per cent new). Already delicious, it is a bright ruby, attractively scented red, mouthfilling and sweet-fruited, with ripe cherry, plum and spice flavours, fresh acidity and a silky-textured finish. Made in a less bold style than many Bendigo Pinot Noirs, it's a drink-now or cellaring proposition. Good value."