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A Potential Double 97-Point Pinot Noir for Under $35 - 11/25/2019 - Australia

In his very enthusiastic 97-point review of the 2017 Oakridge "Henk Vineyard - Block 864" Pinot Noir, James Suckling succinctly writes, “This is a triumph.” His excitement is well-founded as it is one of the most complex and detailed expressions we’ve encountered from any region this year. If this single-site bottling came from Burgundy or Sonoma, you could expect to pay two to three times the price, making this a first-rate bargain that any fan of Pinot Noir should give serious consideration. Crafted by David Bicknell, one of Australia’s most respect winemakers, it moves effortlessly from one strength to the next. Aromatically complex and with an abundance of red and black fruits, it immediately seizes your attention with the first sip and carries it into its long and lasting finish. We were impressed with how well it’s showing even at this early stage, while also having the scaffolding for long-term aging. A soft mouthfeel and supple tannins, make this an excellent candidate to pour for Thanksgiving. But being a crowd-pleaser means, this 2017 is a terrific bottle to have on hand no matter the occasion. Pinot bargains don’t come along all that often, so when one this good does appear, it’s best to act decisively.

2017 Oakridge "Henk Vineyard - Block 864" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley Victoria ($34.99)

97 points James Halliday: "From the red volcanic soils of Woori Yallock. Hand-picked and sorted, 100% destemmed and wild-fermented with 21 days on skins, matured for 12 months in French oak (10% new). Has the wonderful colour, and the fragrance of spices, forest and red fruits, the palate with luscious fruit encased in silky tannins. Has the balance and length of great young Pinot whatever its provenance." (08/2019)

96-97 points James Suckling: "Tasted the final blend pre-bottling. A parcel from the Henk Vineyard. This has an entrancing nose of ripe raspberries, dark strawberries and red cherries, as well as pomegranate, blood oranges, exotic and fresh-ground spices and pristine perfume. So luxuriant. Theres a lot to take in. The palate has superior fleshy depth and very fluid mesh-like tannins that wrap long and complete. Cage-like. It delivers such freshness and depth of flavor. This is a triumph. Drink or hold." (06/2018)

Staff ImageThomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 13, 2019

Oakridge Winemaker David Bicknell is Australia's master of Pinot Noir. His local vineyard series concentrates on sourcing small parcels of fruit from exceptional family-farmed vineyards. The Oakridge 864 is sourced from a small Pinot Noir block in the Upper Yarra Valley, Australias most recognized site for Pinot Noir. The Henk 864 showcases Bicknells exceptional hand with Pinot Noir, creating a wine that bridges power and focus with intricacy and detail. Black Cherry, strawberry and cranberry compote with delicate nuances of baking spice and flowers on the nose create a profile that is full of complexity detail and death. But this merely foreplay. This leads to a palate that is a tour de force of richly layered black and red fruit. Velvety and weighted, it manages to stay bright and balanced due to a laser sharp acid line that screams down the palate. The dynamics of this wine are just nuts. This is one of Australias very best offerings in Pinot Noir and a testament to the world class wines being crafted by Bicknell.

Staff ImageNeal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 12, 2019

I'm usually a big fan of Oakridge Pinots and this new bottling we got in from the Henk Vineyard is no exception. The nose opens with inviting floral aromatics, forest floor rancio, and spiced blackberry jam. The palate presents more tart berries and white pepper that transitions to white pepper with a little green leafiness. The finish is long with lingering cherries and baking spice.

Miles Philippe | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 04, 2019

A very pretty nose full of bright fruits, floral notes, and hints of earthy qualities gives way to a wonderfully juicy palate! Despite the concentration of fruits, this wine is lifted by a great presence of acidity that keeps everything laser focused. This wine can do it all; parties, dinners, hang-outs, you name it!

Lauren Seward | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 04, 2019

Do you not have a go-to Pinot Noir yet? Or are looking to switch it up? This bottle of single vineyard Oakridge has everything a cool climate Pinot fan looks for: a plush, yet subtle wine with a beautiful spice aroma and soft black and red berry flavors. I personally was surprised by the well-structured tannins, making this both a table friendly wine and perfect on its own.