What I love most about the Spider Bill Pinot Noir is it is a bit Burgundian. But not the Gevrey Chambertin of Australia, it’s more in the Mercurey camp. Lean, mineral, savoury, fine-boned, long finishing, great acidity. Pure red fruits and floral notes. Spider Bill Pinot has high drinkability and high pleasure factor. I would drink Spider Bill now and over the next couple of years.
Spider Bill Pinot Noir Distributor Notes
“Since the first release in 2015, the USP of Tarrant’s Pinot Noir has been the focus on structure rather than a simple red-fruit character. Thanks to the focus on the ‘Champagne’ clones of D5V12 and 386, the wine always takes on a lighter than expected appearance but more than makes up for it with a serious, sinewy palate that belies not only its colour but its pricepoint. This year, with the addition of some 115 Burgundy clonal material, the wine steps it up with layers of the red fruit that the ‘Hills is best known for, whilst retaining its trademark chiselled structure
100% Pinot Noir in the Piccadilly Valley, D5V12, 386 and 115 clones, limestone and schist, 450-500m ASL, ferment in stainless steel, 30% whole bunch, 20 days maceration, then 10 months ageing in French oak (10% new), 2 months in bottle before release, very light filtration,”
Spider Bill is the work of Tarrant Hansen. He and his family moved to South Australia in 2009 after giving up a career in medical science. Formal winemaking study lead to work in Piedmont, Stellenbosch, Marlborough, Barossa Valley, Langhorne Creek and the Adelaide Hills. By this time he and his family were in love with Adelaide and therefore set up the Spider Bill label has allowed Tarrant to use his skills to produce delicious small batch wine from premium parcels of Adelaide Hills fruit. The style favoured is organic practices in the vineyard and low intervention, low input in the winery. The wines are all beautiful.
This is a big and varied region. Basically it 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 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. Apart from the best reds in the world, you can find world-class Pinot Noir rosé, sparkling. You can even find sweet wines, whites on occasion and I’ve tasted a decent fortified Pinot Noir too.
The invasion of “Sunshine in a bottle” put Australian wine on the map. The fruity, easy-going, somewhat samey wines were endearing for a short time. Then the next big thing knocked them off their perch.
This forced producers to increase quality and emphasise the distinctive terroirs of Australia. Of which, there are many. And many more yet to be discovered.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is impressive. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fun fact; most of the colour for wines comes from the skins. There are only a handful of grapes that have red juice. Alicante is the most well known of these grapes.
By macerating the juice on the skins, the wine gains tannins, and flavours. Certain compounds change the chemistry of the wine too.
Red wines tend to have higher alcohol. More tannin and more oak flavours compared to other styles of wine. But the thousands of grapes and terroirs they grow in influence this.