Determined to make wines of character and class from his base in the Adelaide Hills, Brendon Keys is forging ahead. Not afraid to make a challenging wine or a downright weird one. But in the quirky names and styles is the charm of the wines. You may have to work to get the reward but let me say that these wines are seriously impressive.
Extend contact with skins (100 days for this vintage) is the go here. The wine is quite pale in colour but the aromas are hypnotic. A melange of sweet berry fruits with a toasty bacon fat character, pepper and cardamom and much, much more. The palate is taut, linear and focussed. It is not super complex in the mouth but that will come with time or time in the glass. Overall this is a super classy Pinot that you’d wear as a perfume if you could.
Adelaide Hills – This is a big and varied region that basically stretches from the top of the McLaren Vale all the way to the bottom of the Barossa. This means there is a big scope for climatic conditions. In the central part where its altitude is quite high you can get some of the best sites in the world for Sparkling wine. In the slightly warmer parts of the centre, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme with Riesling, Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc worthy of honourable mentions.
Pinot Noir – This is the most elusive grape. It is relatively early ripening and extremely sensitive to terroir. Its perfect place on earth is the Cote d’Or in Burgundy. So haunting are great red Burgundy’s charms that growers everywhere try to emulate them. Pinot Noir is not just a one trick pony, it can make great reds, rosé, sparkling and even sweet wines, whites on occasion and I’ve tasted a decent fortified Pinot Noir too.