Hurley Vineyards 2017 New Releases

Hurley Estate easily counts itself as one of the handful of premiere Pinot producers from Mornington and for that matter Australia. This is a special little spot of dirt. The volcanic, free-draining soils full of ironstone are the perfect foil for Pinot while the ocean and two bays keep the site even and cool. The three adjoining single-vineyards of Lodestone, Hommage and Garamond wrap north to east around the gentle slopes on this small volcanic hill in Balnarring. The other defining factor is Kevin Bell and Tricia Byrnes. The pairs tireless dedication to quality and understanding of site sets their wine apart.

The viticulture and winemaking is relatively simple and straightforward. Very little inputs that allow the natural site and fruit express themselves as honestly as possible. As Kevin puts it: “Our philosophy is to bring joy to the world by making wine from pinot noir with gentility and respect and which expresses the pure truth of its terroir like the peal of a bell.” Winemaking words to live by. The result year-in and year-out are exactly that; a pure, vibrant and lush fruit profile underpinned by minerality and finely structured tannins. Each wine with its own individual profile. While vintage variation always shape these wine the essence of the site always shines through.

In 2017 there were only 2 single site wines made along with the Estate. The Lodestone vineyard in bulk making its way into the ‘Estate’ blend. That being said, the overall quality of the wines are excellent as always. Below is a short synopsis of the 2017 vintage by Kevin and Tricia.

Climatic conditions in vintage 2017 were moderate and even, which was ideal for purity of expression and revelation of terroir, especially in Hommage and Garamond. It was not an optimum year for Lodestone, which has been declassified to the Estate level, a decision which both respects Lodestone and contributes to an outstanding Estate wine. We harvested in mid-late March 2017, making it more like a traditional than a modern vintage. The vines were aged nineteen years in Garamond and Hommage the Older, and eighteen years in Hommage the Younger and Lodestone. The fruit was hand-picked in excellent condition and the winemaking conditions were cool, just as we like it. Our production was only 850 cases, due to cold conditions in the Spring of 2016 during fruit set.

After harvest, we cool the intact fruit down in the overnight air. Destemmed, but not crushed, into open-topped fermenting vats and soaked for about seven days before fermentation begins. After fermentation ends, the wine is macerated (this time in the presence of alcohol) on skins, also for about seven days then the must is basket-pressed.

The wine is matured in French oak barrels of 228L (one quarter new), mainly Troncais, for about 20 months. The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in barrel. It is racked under gravity only once before bottling, the lees contact promoting roundness and richness in the wine, and bottled without filtration or fining. It spends about 6 months in bottle before release and is closed with a Diam cork.