In the case of Bass Phillip – Australia’s greatest and most elusive Pinot Noir (and Chardonnay) producer - the Burgundian parallels are undeniable. You may have barely heard the name, or only know it in passing as a cult producer rarely seen, but there is no doubt Bass Phillip holds the Pinot Noir Icon crown in Australia. Founded by Phillip Jones, who in the eighties was inspired by the wines of Rousseau and Jayer, Bass Phillip gradually grew over 25 years, from the original vineyard planted in 1979 to its current 24 hectares in Gippsland, Victoria. With Grand Cru Burgundy-level low yields, the winery has been fully organic since 1993 and biodynamic since 2002. Production is tiny – around 5,000 cases total across all cuvees per year.
In 2011, Bass Phillip drew the attention of international wine collectors by beating Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC) in one round and being crowned the overall most preferred wine in a blind Pinot Noir comparative tasting organized by Burghound. The judges included wine writers and winemakers Andrew Jefford, James Halliday, Allen Meadows, Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Sam Neill, Veronique Boss-Drouhin and Josh Jensen.
Now, the winery enters a new era of global visibility. In 2020, Jones sold the estate to none other than Burgundian legend Jean-Marie Fourrier, of Domaine Fourrier in Gevrey Chambertin, alongside an experienced investor – whose stated aim is for Bass Philip to be “the DRC of the southern hemisphere”.
It is a rare occasion to acquire these superb wines (you will find only a few loose bottles available anywhere in the USA). The most recent vintages of Bass Phillip pinot noir are the best they have produced: older vines, more experience in winemaking, and continued sustainable practices in both the vineyards and winery.
2019 Bin 17K Pinot Noir -Dedicated to becoming the entry-level wine of Bass, accessible to new generations, but also for those who want to enjoy a glass of Bass Phillip on a Tuesday night without breaking the bank!
The selection of the fruits is coming from the deepest soils or younger vineyards. Delicate red fruits with purity, the wine is made to provide drinking pleasure straight away.
2018 Pinot Noir Estate - From the original Estate vineyard, often blended with the best fruit from their Leongatha Vineyard. The Classic signature of Bass Phillip, reaching more density, the wines are a natural balance between purity and complexity. They demand a bit more time to be enjoyed peaking between 3 to 5 years old, but it won’t disappoint people who want to enjoy them sooner!