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Pooley Butcher’s Hill Pinot Noir 2022

by Pooley
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    Pooley Wines is a family-owned vineyard that was established in 1985 by Denis and Margaret Pooley, who planted vines on the banks of the Coal River in southern Tasmania. Initially, the vineyard was meant to be a retirement plan for the couple, but it soon turned into a passion project that flourished into a renowned premium cool-climate site. With the help of their son and grandchildren, three generations of the Pooley family have continued to bring meticulous care to their Cooinda Vale vineyard. In 2003, John Pooley and his wife Libby expanded their estate and established a second vineyard, Butcher’s Hill, with its first vintage produced in 2007. The passing of Margaret Pooley in 2010 marked a turning point for the family business, with Margaret’s granddaughter, Anna Pooley, returning to the family business in 2013. From this point onward, Pooley Wines has been made entirely by family hands. Today, more than 35 years after its establishment, Pooley Wines is recognised as one of Australia’s most renowned cool-climate producers. The Halliday Wine Companion awarded Pooley Wines the 2023 Winery of the Year, a testament to the family’s philosophy of making wines that reflect their unique environment while pushing the quality of the grapes and the wines even further. The Coal River Valley produces some of Australia’s finest wines, and Pooley Wines is at the forefront of this prestigious industry.

    The Coal River Valley is a region rich in geological diversity, with alluvial soils, Permian mudstone and sandstone outcrops, Triassic sandstones, shales and coal measures, as well as numerous injections of Jurassic dolerite in pockets of the area. Tertiary basalt sediments and ferricrete deposits are also common throughout the Valley, contributing to the unique characteristics of Pooley Wines' Butchers Hill vineyard. Despite being drier than its northern and southern counterparts, the region still benefits from the surrounding Southern Ocean, providing a long ripening period moderated by a maritime climate. Pooley Wines implements a strong focus on biological farming and regenerative agricultural practices, allowing them to future-proof themselves from a changing climate while maintaining productivity and resilience.

    The Butchers Hill Vineyard, located in Richmond at the historic Belmont Lodge, was established in 2003 and has since become a prominent feature of the town's landscape. The lead-up to the 2022 vintage was marked by some of the wettest winters on record, followed by a cool and drying spring into summer, with high humidity. These conditions led to healthy canopies and bunch numbers, but the cool weather around the time of flowering resulted in some poor fruit set in earlier flowering varieties, reducing overall yields and intake in those varieties.

    Despite starting a couple of days later than usual, the vintage was of high quality due to the favourable conditions. The steep north-facing slope of the Butchers Hill Vineyard, ranging from 30m-100m above sea level, means that it receives long hours of sunlight, protection from cold southern winds, and increased soil drainage. The ferricrete attribute of the soils not only holds heat and water longer due to its darker composition but also interacts with the production of flavonoids in the fruit, resulting in complex and robust wines. Currently, there are 6ha of vines planted on this property, producing exceptional wines that showcase the best of the region's terroir and winemaking techniques.

    The Pooley Butcher’s Hill Pinot Noir 2022 is a standout wine that showcases the best of the region's terroir and winemaking techniques. The grapes were hand-picked and underwent a 10-day fermentation using the XR yeast strain, with 35% of the grapes left as whole bunches and 65% destemmed. This was followed by a 7-day post-ferment maceration period. The wine was then matured in 25% new French oak barriques, with a fine grain and medium toast, for a total of 11 months. On the nose, the Pooley Butcher’s Hill Pinot Noir 2022 offers perfumed notes of spiced black cherry, dark fruits and tobacco leaf. On the palate, there is a lovely balance of umami and red fruits, underscored by impressions of pepper, macerated cherries and cured meat. The wine finishes with finely boned tannins, making for a silky-smooth finish, along with a bright line of acidity. This is a wine that truly represents the best of the region's cool-climate character and is a testament to the skill and dedication of the winemakers at Pooley Wines.

    The Finer Details
    Style - Red Wine
    Varietal - Pinot Noir
    Country - Australia
    Region - Coal River Valley, Tasmania
    Vintage - 2022
    Bottle Size - 750ml
    ABV - 13.7%