TIMO MAYER, CLOSE-PLANTED PINOT NOIR
Yarra Valley, Australia
Timo Mayer believes that wines are made in the vineyard and therefore tries to interfere as little as possible. Mayer vineyard is perched on the slopes of the improbably named Mount Toolebewong south of Healesville in the heart of Victoria’s Yarra Valley.
Timo makes tiny quantities of wine from his 2.2 hectares of vines, which are mainly planted to Pinot Noir, with small amounts of Shiraz and Chardonnay. Timo says he is striving to make wines that are true to the expression of the land and have a point of difference. His winemaking credo is minimal interference and handling, and no filtration.
The Close Planted Pinot comes from one acre of Pinot planted at 75 cm apart, which is double the planting density (almost 6000/acre) to the rest of the vineyard. With part of those grapes he does a 100% whole bunch ferment which is then blended back with the destemmed component and makes up a 40% of the total blend. Timo believes the use of stalks gives him a more savoury style.
The wine shows fragrant whole bunch characters coupled with red fruit, spice and a violet and crushed strawberry mcharacter. Medium bodied with spicy creamy red fruits, liquorice and minerally earthy flavours with excellent concentration, clarity and weight. It has fresh acidity and fine lightly stemmy tannins. I think of many Australian Pinots as “Pinot flavoured dry reds”, everything is Pinot-shaped, but they fail to achieve lift off. Now and then you come across a Pinot that does everything Pinot (a-hem, Burgundy) should do, it appeals to the head and the heart, gives you goose-bumps and provokes an emotional response. This is such a wine.