It’s always interesting to do a tasting of a range of wines from one Estate – like you would if you visited the Cellar Door. It helps you feel the pulse of the winery. You can taste and contrast, and one will inevitably be compared to another. I value the time and intention that can be spent on ‘reviewing’ a single bottle of course, and I hope that we gave each of these wines their due. The wines were all opened and decanted on the morning, with tasting taking place over a leisurely late afternoon into the evening.
Carrick ‘The Magnetic’ Pinot Noir 2017
Very distinct wine – a single block, single variety; and then a single clone – Abel Pinot Noir. Unusual to find a wine so specific – from a tiny 0.34 hectare plot planted in 2008, that I saw next to the winery on Cairnmuir road when I visited in February 2019. A deep ruby with lighter, pinkish edges. Concentrated aromas of black cherry and violets, with tarragon and warm, earthy notes. A powerful wine; fleshy and sweet-fruited to the fore; with ripe boysenberry, black doris and mocha. Fine tannins with a wide reach; a frisson of spicy oak, and a velvety texture. A return of savoury provence herbs, and then the floral note is also back, in the long finish.
Carrick ‘The Excelsior’ Pinot Noir 2016
From a barrel selection of the best fruit on their Bannockburn site. A complex bouquet of lilac and red cherry. Full of charm – ethereal and elegant on the palate, but with a disarmingly dense core that has a pulse of succulent redcurrant and berry sweetness. A rich balsamic minerality.
A wisp of smoke and oak. Structured; enriched with a backbone of svelte tannins, and a glossy texture. The finish lingers on, with real staying power. A polished wine of real panache. Not a bigger wine than The Magnetic, just more complexity and depth.
Carrick Bannockburn Chardonnay 2017
A barrel-fermented Bannockburn Chardonnay from Mendoza and Clone 6 fruit. A light straw colour in the glass, greening at the edges. Compelling aromas of ripe peach, cloves and a lovely floral lift. Citrus and comice pear on the palate, with a flinty minerality. Superb, lush texture; lemon curd – rounded and mouth-filling. The drive from a fresh acidity gives balance and there’s just enough nuance of spicy oak to lend a real harmony. A bounce and vigour to this, still young, wine – I’d give it another 4-5 years in the bottle to develop even more layers and interest.