2018 Bass Phillip Reserve Pinot Noir
An ethereal nose here. This is a very complex and fragrant expression with a layered and detailed style that has abundant flowers, sappy forest wood, bacon fat, wild red cherries, pomegranate and already well-integrated oak. The palate has a very plush, long and lacy feel with very intense red-cherry flavor, bright acidity crunch and a sleek, long run to the finish. Energetic, yet measured, this is terrific pinot. Drink or hold.
JamesSuckling.com (December 2020)
Like all of the Pinots at Bass Phillip, the 2018 Reserve Pinot Noir is relatively light in color, unfiltered and cloudy in the glass. Delicately scented of raspberries and cherries, with hints of herbs, vanilla and earth, it's the most voluminous of the bottlings, showing more roundness and concentration in the mouth, allied to silky, berry herbal-tea textural complexities and admirable persistence on the finish.
One of the most heralded boutique wineries in Australia, Bass Phillip was sold this spring to a group of international investors, including Burgundian Jean-Marie Fourrier and former investors in Robert Parker Wine Advocate. Iconoclastic founder Phillip Jones will remain for an undisclosed period as a consultant, but at age 74, he had been looking to sell the winery for the past few years. The 14-hectare property is located in Gippsland, Victoria, southeast of Melbourne, and has been farmed organically (since 1993) and biodynamically since 2002, although without being certified. The plantings are relatively dense, with as many as 9,000 vines per hectare, and yields approximate 1 to 1.5 tons per acre. Up to 60% new oak is used in the Estate Pinot Noir, with the Chardonnays seeing 20% new oak (all French). There's an emphasis on natural acidity and delicate handling in the winery—avoiding pumps for example, which Jones claimed damaged the texture of his wines when I last spoke with him three years ago. None of the 2018 Pinots were filtered, and all are somewhat cloudy in the glass. Under the new ownership, expect to see a push for higher visibility outside Australia. Quantities of these wines will be down by about 25% from the 2019 vintage, but there will be a new, entry-level tier in the sub-$30 range that Fourrier likens to a Bourgogne Rouge. Drink 2021 - 2033.
Joe Czerwinski - Robert Parkers Wine Advocate (August 2020)