Monday, May 16, 2011


- Geelong, VIC
- $120
- Cork
- 13.5%alc

As a (terribly) general rule of thumb, I'd put most good Australian pinot noir within an 8 year cellaring bracket, with the odd standout drinking well at 10 or 12, and the occasional, welcomed freak going beyond that even. Screwcaps may well prove me wrong though. The 1998 Serre represents Bannockburn's finest efforts with the variety, from a period when the winery was performing exceptionally well. Even then, I'm still holding my fingers crossed on this 13 year old Australian pinot noir.

Defined by savoury scents of brown leaf litter, damp, earthy soils, light spices and gentle aniseed, Bannockburn's 1998 Serre has bid farewell to its primary fruit aromas, although it still rises from the glass with vitality, fragrant lift and an ever present hint of dry cedar. In the mouth it's luxuriously silky, sensual, gentle in its weight and understated in its entry. The palate then follows through with a powerfully sour-edged extract of cherry, earth and tea leaf-like flavour, becoming more intensely acidic and sour-edged as it progresses into a very long, fine and ultimately dry finish, that does reveal complex and savoury, if faint touches of fennel, spice and tea leaf character, with essentially little or no tannin influence.

O Very good and holding up particularly well for a teenage Australian pinot noir, but I suspect the 1998 Serre might've been a better prospect around 3 years ago. Drink now.
92 points


  1. I cracked a magnum of '97 Bannockburn Pinot with an exceptional game pie (Rob, I hope you're reading this) this time last year. I haven't drunk a lot of Bannockburn Pinot, but if the '97 was past its peak, I should buy a whole lot more and drink it younger. It really was a perfect match.

  2. The late 90s were definitely good times for Bannockburn pinot noir, especially for those who got ahold of magnums! Doesn't wine always taste better out of magnums?

    We had the '98 Serre with a variety of little nibbles, including duck terrine, grand marnier pate, Iberico Jamon (not cheap!), manchego, grana padana and a French sheep cheese I can't recall the name of, but I'd probably swap it all in a second for another 750ml of Bannockburn and an exceptional game pie ;)

    Chris P