Volcanic topsoil, and mixed clays and sands over limestone are typical of the Bannockburn site, and so this wine is named De La Terre, meaning “of the earth”. De La Terre is a small, (sub one hectare) dry grown vineyard planted to 10,000 vines/ha that borders the famed Serré Vineyard. The planting density - still very rare in an Australian setting - results here in a natural yield of around 500 g per vine. In other words, about Grand Cru Burgundy levels per vine.
10% whole bunch fermentation, indigenous yeast, approximately three weeks on skins. 12 months in French hogsheads (predominately Remond, 30% new), then racked to older puncheons. The best lots were blended, then bottled.
The 2015 is incredibly fleshy and fat with aromas and flavours suggesting rhubarb, cola, roasted meat, exotic spice and some sappy, crushed herb notes with a firm, almost austere finish.
The late Stuart Hooper had a deep love for the wines of Burgundy, and was able to drink the best. When he established Bannockburn, it was inevitable that pinot noir and chardonnay would form the major part of the plantings, with lesser amounts of riesling, sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and merlot. Bannockburn is still owned by members of the Hooper family, who continue to respect Stuart’s strong belief in making wines that reflect the flavours of the vineyard.
Although Stuart has since passed, Bannockburn Vineyards remains in the Hooper family, with his daughters as custodians to ensure his philosophy is preserved, providing the cornerstone of everything done at Bannockburn today.
Matt Holmes commenced making the wines at Bannockburn Vineyards in 2015. He sees his role as a servant to the vineyard, growing season and fruit to produce wines representative of the style and site. Above all, gentle inputs and minimal additions are his goal. In his words, “Well-nourished vines grown in a suitable spot, picked on the right day, transcribed as wine.”
Previously, Matt had been making wine in the Okanagan wine region of British Columbia, Canada. During these 10 years he also gained a broad range of experience working additional vintages in the U.S., France, Italy, New Zealand as well as Australia.