Hoddles Creek Estate 1er Pinot Noir 2021

Hoddles Creek Estate 1er Pinot Noir 2021

Sale price$68.95
Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia

Style: Red Wine

Variety: Pinot Noir

Closure: Screwcap

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Hoddles Creek Estate 1er Pinot Noir 2021

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Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124

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Producer: Hoddles Creek Estate

Country: Australia

Region: Yarra Valley

Vintage: 2021

Critic Score: 97

Alcohol: 13.2%

Size: 750 ml

Drink by: 2040

It’s so calm and seductive. Probably the best vintage of 1er Pinot since 2015 - Gary Walsh

Led by winemaking guru Franco D'Anna, the team at Hoddles Creek produce wonderful pinot noir year in, and year out that seriously overdeliver at the price point. The wines are made from fruit grown on their family vineyard in the Upper Yarra Valley. The Hoddles Creek Estate 1er Pinot Noir is their flagship pinot noir. This wine is only released in vintages when Franco considers the quality to be outstanding. It's produced in small quantities, is of world class standard and is much sought after by pinot noir aficionados. The 2021 release is to die for.

"The pool of excellent Yarra Valley Pinot Noir continues to get deeper. If you are yet to come across this Hoddles Creek 1er, I highly recommend that you introduce yourself. It's a beauty! Loaded with red fruits, earthy and savoury characters too, they all fold into one another effortlessly. Delicious tannins up the interest stakes delivering great chew and plenty of moreishness. Persistent and fine, it's impressive with great poise and finesse. A gold star all the way."  Steve Leszczynski

"The 2021 season was far from the disaster of crop levels like we saw in 2020. Most blocks returned to historical yields. In a year like 2021, the wine pretty much made itself. Not a lot of work in the winery.

The Pinot Noir for this wine comes from our Top Paddock Vineyard. There are 28 rows of pinot planted in this block, which is West facing and sloping to the South. The fact that it slopes down to the South is really important as it enables us to include about 25% whole clusters to the fermentation. South facing blocks tend to be a bit cooler, and ripening takes a little longer hence the stalks have a chance to regain ripeness without imparting any green flavours on the wine.

Pinot Noir from this block has been treated separately since 2005, when we highlighted that the rows produce slightly different fruit than the remainder of the vineyard. With the vineyard in balance, we simply shoot thin around the crown and take off any multiple shoots. The vines would normally crop about 1.3 kilograms per vine.

In the winery, this has the same treatment as the Estate Pinot Noir except for the inclusion of twenty five per cent whole bunches. This makes the tannins a little more finer and gives structure to the wine for further ageing. The wine spends eighteen months in cask. The wine is not filtered, not fined, or stabilized before bottling."  Franco D'Anna, Winemaker

"Fortuitously, in 1960, the D'Anna family had purchased a steeply forested 25ha property which in 1997 they set about planting. Almost overnight, glorious pinot noirs and chardonnays started to flow at prices that were irresistible – and still are."  James Halliday

Expert reviews

"The scented bouquet has all the marks of the vintage: warm spices, red flowers, plum and forest floor. The silky, supple palate sweeps all that has gone before into an intense, pulsating blaze of dark cherry, savoury spices and fine-strung tannins. Drink by 2041."  James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion - 97 points and Special Value Wine  ★ 

"13.2% alcohol eh? Makes a change. Hoddles Creek Pinot is one of the few Australian Pinots I buy with some regularity, so make of that what you will. It's so calm and seductive, and while it shows a little more creamy spicy biscuit oak than usual, or so I think, it's nothing overt. Aside that, red cherry and red berries, spice, mint and floral top notes, with silky fine tannin, though they offer a distinct 'mineral' character, with a crushed stone sort of thing, and some more earthy/savoury flavours. Not at all sweet, maybe even a little bony, though the red fruit is ample. The finish is very long, a tight tannin dusting as it goes. Probably the best vintage of 1er Pinot since 2015. Tasted: Sept 22; Alcohol: 13.2%; Closure: Screwcap; Drink: 2023-2032+."  Gary Walsh, The Wine Front - 96 points

"The pool of excellent Yarra Valley Pinot Noir continues to get deeper. If you are yet to come across this Hoddles Creek 1er, I highly recommend that you introduce yourself. It's a beauty! I had the opportunity to have a quick look through the new Hoddles Creek releases with Franco D'Anna last week. Loaded with red fruits, earthy and savoury characters too, they all fold into one another effortlessly. Delicious tannins up the interest stakes delivering great chew and plenty of moreishness. Persistent and fine, it's impressive with great poise and finesse. A gold star all the way. Drink to eight years+."  Steve Leszczynski, Qwine - 95 points


Special Value Wine – Halliday Wine Companion  ★ 

Franco D'Anna

Hoddles Creek Estate

In 1960 Tony and Bruno D'Anna purchased their future vineyard in the upper reaches of the Yarra Valley at Hoddles Creek, chosen due to the presence of a small creek which provided a natural water supply. Ironically the property was bought completely without vineyards in mind – merely to grow vegetables and run some cattle – and well before the potential of the Yarra Valley as a wine region had re-emerged after a long hiatus. 

It was not until the nineties, when interest in small wineries exploded around the country, that the D'Annas made the logical leap to plant vines at Hoddles Creek. Mario Marson, who was viticulturalist and winemaker at Yarra icon Mount Mary, assisted in the planting of traditional varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with the surprise addition of Pinot Blanc, which has turned out to be one of the star wines.  With their now highly successful Boccacio Cellars wine business behind them, all the pieces were in place to return to serious winemaking and again follow in the steps of their forefathers. 

For Tony's son, Franco D'Anna, the path into the family business was almost a foregone conclusion. On finishing a commerce degree at the University of Melbourne he moved straight into a buying role for Boccacio Cellars but never quite settled. "I did this for a few years but never loved it. I went out to the vineyard to help out after planting and never left. I loved being outside, not enclosed within four walls and working flexible hours. On the vineyard I'll start work at 5am and then go play golf in the afternoon. What's not to love about being a farmer?" 

But Franco still lacked the technical knowledge and he knew it. So Franco went back to university – this time studying Applied Wine Science – which was followed by vintages with James Halliday at Coldstream Hills as well as overseas in Burgundy, Sicily and Piedmont. What those experiences have given him, combined with a lifetime surrounded by wine, is a unique take on classic Yarra Valley styles which centers on fruit quality. "Without good fruit it's impossible to make good wine. I have four staff members, and we spend 90 percent of our time in the vineyard." 

Winemaking is also relatively natural and in true Italian style concentrates as much on mouthfeel and structure as the more traditional Australian flavour-oriented wines. "We are lucky enough to grow grapes in an area where additions aren't really necessary. We don't add acid, enzymes, filter so there isn't much manipulation in the winery." And what stands out is that these winemaking philosophies are imprinted on each and every wine under the Hoddles Creek and Wickham Road labels which are unique, characterful and savoury expressions of the modern Yarra style. They are also delicious and generally made to age.

The above text was taken from an article by Angus Hughson published in Winepilot

About the winery

Hoddles Creek WineryHoddles Creek Estate was established in 1997 when the D'Anna family decided to establish a vineyard on the property that has been in the family since 1960. The vineyard sits astride Gembrook Road and adjacent to Hoddles Creek. Its steeply sloping blocks prohibit mechanical harvesting, with both vineyards being hand pruned and harvested.

Initially, 8 hectares of pinot noir and chardonnay were planted to the steepest slopes on the vineyard. More pinot noir and chardonnay, plus some pinot blanc followed in 2001, with cabernet sauvignon, pinot gris and sauvignon blanc coming later still. Franco, whose twin brother, Anthony, takes the reins at the store and for their prolific wine importing arm, Mondo Imports, first worked onsite in 1998, and it skewed him away from a career employing his commerce degree (Melbourne University) to retraining as a viticulturist at Charles Sturt.

The first commercial vintage at Hoddles Creek was in 2003, in their just-completed bespoke winery. All the wines, which are single vineyard, estate grown, are made in the 300 tonne winery. The split-level winery has a barrel store located three meters underground. Mario Marson (ex-Mount Mary, now Vinea Marson) steadied the course in the early days, but it was not long before Franco was in full charge, with the mandate to make the best wines he possibly could.

Hoddles Creek produce two tiers of wine, their Estate range and their flagship '1er' (or Premier Cru) range with fruit from certain blocks that excel year after year. Along with the established range, Franco has started bottling single block wines as he starts to see distinct micro-site variation with the vines hitting meaningful maturity. In the vanguard of these bottlings is a chardonnay from the coolest, most elevated and steepest blocks, 'Syberia'.

Hoddles Creek's mission is to produce terroir driven Yarra Valley wines of the highest possible quality sourced from impeccably farmed old vines with a focus on balance, complexity, concentration and ageability. They also lay a serious claim to being one of the best value producers in Australia.

In addition to the wines of their Yarra Valley vineyard, Hoddles Creek also produce an entry level range under the Wickhams Road label. Fruit is sourced from vineyards in Gippsland, Yarra Valley, King Valley and Yea. Hoddles Creek have become as well known for their dazzlingly economical Wickhams Road range as for their premium bottlings, as they are perennially the best-value chardonnay and pinot noir in the market.

Sections of the above text are taken from an article on Franco d'Anna that appeared in Young Gun of Wine

Wine region map of Victoria


Victoria is home to more than 800 wineries across 21 wine regions. The regions are Alpine Valley, Beechworth, Bendigo, Geelong, Gippsland, Glenrowan, Goulburn Valley, Grampians, Heathcote, Henty, King Valley, Macedon Ranges, Mornington Peninsula, Murray Darling, Pyrenees, Rutherglen, Strathbogie Ranges, Sunbury, Swan Hill, Upper Goulburn and Yarra Valley.

Victoria's first vines were planted at Yering in the Yarra Valley in 1838. By 1868 over 3,000 acres had been planted in Victoria, establishing Victoria as the premier wine State of the day. Today, the original vineyards planted at Best's Wines are among the oldest and rarest pre-phylloxera plantings in the world.

Victoria's climate varies from hot and dry in the north to cool in the south and each wine region specialises in different varietals. For example, Rutherglen in the north is famous for its opulent Muscats and Topaque and bold reds, while the many cooler climate regions near Melbourne produce world class Chardonnay and pinot Noir. Victoria is truly a wine lover's playground.