Awarded 98 points and Exceptional status by Decanter in their November 2019 edition panel tasting of Australian Pinot Noir (see blue link below).
Lethbridge Between Five Bells Pinot Noir 2018 - November 2019 Decanter review
NB: There are three different labels for this same bottle (see images below). Alas, it is not possible to choose which you will receive (thanks for all the enquiries), as we may ourselves receive any one, or any mixture, of them!
We would also cautiously point out that this is no normal Pinot Noir. From our own tasting, this is quite different to most conventionally-fermented Pinot Noir. This is a Pinot produced using carbonic maceration - beyond the realms and degree of traditional, Burgundian whole-bunch fermentation - giving a more forward edge and a fruitier, crunchier style than most Pinots. It is a tremendous wine, and categorically a Pinot, but the difference from 'orthodox' Pinot Noir is worth noting, especially for traditionalists!
Between Five Bells is a collaborative project between iconic winemaker Ray Nadeson and two of his friends: wine merchant David Fesq and top Sydney sommelier Josh Dunne. Right from their 2009 début, the first priority has been drinkability, with Californian field blends and Southern Rhône wines as particular inspirations. The labels are a key element of Between Five Bells; some wines bear infographics of extraordinary beauty, containing more winemaking information than probably any other wine on the market. Others have their production and flavour profile illustrated over the course of several different labels per wine. This is very much an artisanal producer, and quantities are minuscule!
The grapes were sourced from Jack & Lois Doeven’s vineyard at Drumborg, Henty.
The whole bunches were carefully placed by hand into the tank, building up in layers until the weight of grapes at the top started to crush those at the bottom. With the tank then sealed, a carbonic fermentation took place, giving bright fruit and soft tannin.
See the blue link below for the technical note from the winemakers themselves.
Lethbridge Between Five Bells Pinot Noir 2018 - fiche technique
100% Pinot Noir.
Vibrant and punchy, this Pinot offers aroma of raspberry, cherry and plum, as well as some spicy complexity. Supple-textured, balancing crunch with succulence, this is a brilliantly original interpretation of Pinot Noir.
Or, as the Decanter panel (respectively) expressed it,
- "Very fine delicate perfumed nose, on the palate a superb berry explosion with restraint. Some savoury tannins at the end";
- "a hint of Vegemite, blue fruits, extremly creamy and fresh, really great length and power. More of a whole berry style but terrific length. Very good wine"; and
- "deep, dark ruby, seductive loganberry fruit nose. Dark berry and plum fruit on the palate, which is opulently fruity and supported by firm extracted tannins, a savoury quality and crisp acidity in an overall finely balanced package. Great ageing potential."
ABV = 13.0%.