2014 Littlehampton Innes Vineyard Pinot Gris

Pale straw with lime hues. Intense aromas of ripe stone-fruits, pear skin and gooseberry with underlying nuances of dried herbs and flinty notes. The palate is rich with a powerful core of sweet stone-fruit, gooseberry and clove spice flavours, with complex yet elegant palate weight and texture, and fine, focused acidity for a beautifully long finish.

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2014 Littlehampton Innes Vineyard Pinot Gris

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The 2014 vintage began with the winery coming alive to the fragrant aromas of fermentation. But what a year we’ve had! This year, the moon cycles put Easter quite late in the season, so the expectation of a late harvest prevailed...until South Australia experienced its record number of heat days over 40C in January, culminating in the worst bushfire in Eden Valley in living memory. This taste of hell ended in the wettest February in 44 years - all in 48 hours, when we received between 115 and 150mm of rain. Fortunately, Eden Valley and the Adelaide Hills were still in veraison, which allowed the quenching rain to rebalance the fruit, particularly in the older dry-grown vineyards. The yields appeared depressingly minuscule, due to a severe black frost in spring and cold windy weather during flowering in early December. Early picks of semillon and shiraz after the heat wave were in response to vine stress. The change to mild autumnal weather in late February after the rains allowed for a focus on other early vintage varieties, riesling in Eden Valley and pinot noir at Lenswood. Mild weather with cold dewy mornings and windy days prevailed. Disease pressure increased as March became colder and wetter, which seemed to change to a winter pattern after the solstice. It was indeed a late vintage and also resulted in one of our longest vintages. The picking of Eden Valley cabernet and Lenswood merlot brought the season to a close at the beginning of May, where skilled vineyard teams played a critical role by hand selecting and picking the best quality fruit during the onset of rain and cold wintery weather. In summary, a challenging season with good quality but very low yields.

In the Bottle

Vintage 2014
Grape Variety 100% pinot gris grown by David and Annette Innes at Littlehampton in the Adelaide Hills.
Technical Details Harvest Date: 26 February | Alcohol: 13.5% | pH: 3.35 | Acidity: 5.6g/L
Maturation Fermented in tank and held on lees for 6 months with occasional stirring to build complexity.
Background The Adelaide Hills has an altitude ranging from 400-600m and a rainfall of around 700-1000mm. Soils consist of sandy loam overlying weathered shale and clay, which provide excellent conditions for viticulture. Littlehampton lies on the eastern side of the Adelaide Hills and has a unique aspect for superlative pinot gris. Viticulture was first established in the Adelaide Hills in 1839 by John Barton Hack near Mount Barker, just 5km from Littlehampton. Pinot gris, called tokay d’Alsace in France, grauburgunder in Germany and pinot grigio in Italy, has its origins in France and has become a highly regarded variety around the world.
Cellaring Potential Excellent vintage, 10+ years (from vintage).

Vintage 2013. 8 April 2014, www.taste.com.au

This might just be the best Australian pinot gris on the block at the moment, again all fragrant with nectarine flesh and blossom, the fruit and a heady culinary spice also redolent as you sip. And talk about textural — this is a textbook style, minerally in one sense, the acidity fresh and lively, while richer, creamier layers from some clever winemaking just add to the joy.

Vintage 2010. February 2012, Mike Bennie, Wine Business Magazine

Not a classic wine for the generational winemakers at Henschke, but certainly a feather in the cap of their folio. With white nashi pear, spice and layered texture, this white has complexity, nutty nuances and great appeal. 92/100.

Vintage 2006. September 2006, Tony Love, Adelaide Advertiser

Fresh from Henschke's Littlehampton site in the Adelaide Hills, there are little squeaks of telltale bronze tones around the edges, then pears and almonds before a scoop of lychees and a mouth full of bright acids and herbal aromatics lolling around within its typical viscosity. Desperately seeking good Thai food.

Vintage 2005. August 2007, James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion

Classic spice, pear and a hint of musk; good balance and length, the alcohol no problem. Rating 89/100.

Vintage 2005. December 2005, Winsor Dobbin, PMD Wines

You'll find lychee characters here, rose petals and stone fruit and all the variety's trademark vidcosity. This is a wine made in a very lifted style - if you love a pinot gris you'll love this.

Vintage 2004. June 2006, Sally Gudgeon, Sydney Morning Herald

This delectable drop will send you into sensory overload with its rich, slippery texture, array of flavours and delicate aromas of spice and fresh hay.

Vintage 2004. November 2005, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate

...an exuberant, dry, fruit-driven white revealing scents of apricots and white currants along with a mineral-like characteristic.

Vintage 2003. June 2004, Huon Hooke, Sydney Morning Herald

An Adelaide Hills wine very much in the opulent Alsace style. It's a worthy follow-up to the crackerjack '02 - ripe stone fruit and nutty aromas, intense flavours that are soft and seamless an the palate. Smooth texture and lovely balance.

Vintage 2002. February 2004, The Age, Uncorked

This is simply the best Aussie Pinto Gris we've tasted. From a stand-out vintage in the Adelaide Hills, it’s as aromatic and opulent as a good Alsatian; richly spicy, honeyed and stone-fruity; but fine, seamless and silky across the tongue.