Bass Phillip is renowned for producing some of the best Pinot Noir wines in Australia for decades
Named after two of our great Australian explorers, George Bass and Arthur Phillip, Bass Phillip Wines were established by Phillip Jones in 1979. Recognised for decades throughout the world of wine as Australia’s finest Pinot Noir, the wines of Bass Phillip offer superb complexity, length of flavour, delicacy, power and cellaring potential. Made in a simple and traditional manner, with low cropped vineyards, no irrigation and minimal intervention in the winery, the wines of Bass Phillip display flavours which are characteristic of the region and their individual vineyards. The Bass Phillip Estate vineyard at Leongatha South became the first commercial vineyard in South Gippsland. The region is famous for its fertility, moderately high rainfall and high quality dairy farming.
The difference between good and great Pinot Noir is texture, says Phillip Jones. The deep, mineral rich soils and high humidity, plus cooler temperatures, are the important factors which deliver complex and intense flavour, firm natural acidity, and minerality in pinot noir and chardonnay wines. Ever since the inaugural vintage 1984, these qualities have been apparent. Bass Phillip wines are distinctly different, nice to drink young, but improve well after several years in the cellar. The most recent vintages of Bass Phillip Pinot Noir are the very best, thanks to older vines, more experience in winemaking and continued sustainable practices in both the vineyards and winery.
The real essence of Bass Phillip’s wine production is to allow the forces of nature to control the process. The South Gippsland region is very favourable for the growth of all plants, making this philosophy easy to implement. Irrigation, toxic/systemic fungicides, and nutrient additions are not used. In the winery, natural yeasts, minimal pumping and filtration and minimal addition of ameliorants is practiced.
Bass Phillip avoid the use of fining agents & acid additions. Organic practices since 1993 and biodynamic since 2002. The wine process at Bass Phillip is driven by a passion for quality experiences and attention to detail in the growth and production of great wines.
South Gippsland is well known for its dairy and beef produce, deep, silty loam soils and ample annual rainfall. The region has never suffered drought. It consistently provides the soil moisture and ambient humidity required for quality Pinot Noir. Despite being less than twenty kilometers from the sea, Bass Phillip is protected by hills to the northeast and northwest, which reduces the strong winds and produces a continental climatic effect. Soils are rich in minerals from their ancient volcanic origins. Roots are deep because of the free-draining structure of the soils with a low clay content. The harvest period usually involves pleasant, consistent weather conditions, with considerable sunshine and fine, balmy days.
Phillip Jones began his career as a research engineer. The approach at Bass Phillip has therefore been to craft Pinot Noir with a strongly analytical basis, using scientific measurements and principles to ensure high quality and long cellaring potential. Rigorous quality control in the last few years has given us wines with vibrant fruit and considerable delicacy. The proof is in the Pinot, a tradition of vintages which are celebrated around the globe by pinotphiles and the most discerning connoisseurs. 2010 Bass Phillip Reserve pinot noir was awarded 99 points by James Halliday, in the 2014 edition of Australian Wine Companion. Halliday is probably Australia's greatest pinotphile and says it is the highest score he has ever given an Australian table wine.