I keep saying that “in the interest of transparency, Huon Hooke has rated this wine….” usually followed by a low rating.
Well, here I go again. One thing is clear, when Huon doesn’t like a wine, he really doesn’t like it. He gives this wine 78 and says (his bottle at least) was bretty.
So, before promoting it, I thought I’d better try it again, so I did that last week. My conclusion is that the rating of 93+ from Gary Walsh (of The Wine Front) is spot on. That puts it in the middle of the “good wine” range. I didn’t pick up any brett, but I’m no expert although I have had enough Italian wines to know what it is!
I called in to see Syd Bradford a couple of months ago at his Yarra Valley vineyard off the very Australian sounding Healesville – Koo Wee Rup Road. The vineyard’s not easy to find – no signs, closed gate and the house set well back from the road.
At that time I was collecting some of Syd’s “Driftwood” Pinot Noir Gamay when he said “come and have a look at my new tasting room”. It’s a gem. Gravel floors, lots of tin and a wall lined in used oak staves (not Syd’s I might add). Lot’s of earthy, winery character and being quite small, a cosy place for a small group to taste some of his wines. Let me know if you are down that way and I’ll introduce you.
I was just about to leave when, with obvious pleasure, Syd passed me a bottle of the 2015 Levings Pinot Noir and said “try this, it’s the first Pinot we’ve made off our own vines.”
Hence the name Levings, which was the name of the property when Syd originally acquired it.
I carted the bottle back to Singapore and finally tried it a few weeks ago, and I was impressed. Great body but a smoothness to it even at this very young age. It oozes quality and finesse. Halliday agrees giving it 96 points. 36 bottles are now sitting in Victoria waiting to come up. Four bottles have already been allocated to the Boxall cellar in Singapore and the remaing 32 are ready to come up in early October if you’re interested.