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Sunday 27 June 2021

Meet a unique pinot noir from Tasmania

Tasmanian winemaker Max Marriott stole an idea from a Burgundy wine icon to produce a unique limited release.

Marriott, from Anim Wines, is about to release a wine made during Hobart's lockdown in April last year. 

His baby is called Hobart 27; which references the 27 individuals involved in the snipping of the grapes. 

The four-week 2020 lockdown of Hobart coincided with the grape harvest and saw Marriott drop off buckets of grapes to the doorsteps of willing participants, largely from the hospitality industry, who were instructed to snip individual berries of pinot noir off bunches of grapes.

“Lalou Bize-Leroy, from the famed vineyards of Burgundy, one of the most powerful women in wine and a fastidious winegrower, first pioneered this method – at least to my knowledge – and it’s a process I’ve replicated with colleagues when I was working in Oregon,” says Marriott.

“When lockdown occurred, and we were fortunate enough to continue with our harvest and vintage, I began to think of ways we could incorporate the community into wine. I guess it was equal parts reaching out, motivating, keeping busy, empathy, excitement, intrigue and ambition.”

A positive community response saw buckets of grapes left on doorsteps over a series of nights and then saw the buckets of snipped grapes collected: with enough fruit to make one barrel of wine.

“There are various thoughts behind the practice of snipping whole berries with the pedicel (short stems) intact,” explains Marriott. “The promotion of bunch character without the green tannin of the stem, unruptured whole berries undergoing intracellular fermentation, carbonic maceration and unique ferment kinetics, specific extraction of tannin and so forth.”

The front label is watermarked with the Tasmanian waratah, a flower that overlooks Hobart on the slopes of kunanyi/Mount Wellington. A gold flourish references the extremely rare yellow waratah, but also maps the addresses of all who had buckets of grapes delivered to them, with Hobart the centrepoint. 

The wine will be released on July 1 with just 400 bottles available. $270.

See or call 0400 203 865. 

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