REVIEW: The wine waiter who got his hands dirty

Holly's Garden,
Holly's Garden, "ÜberBrut #5a,” Whitlands, NV

NEIL Prentice is one of wine's great characters, a former sommelier who established a vineyard at his parents' Gippsland cattle farm in 1991.

He practices biodynamics, and his vineyards have never had a chemical spray put upon them.

Holly's Garden, "ÜberBrut #5a," Whitlands, NV:

Traditional method sparkling, but complex base wines: 90% pinot noir from a multi-vintage solera, 5% 2014 chardonnay and 5% 2012 pinot gris. Nose has waxy lees notes over light biscuit dough, lemon pith and creamed honey. Unique wine.

Rating: 9/10 RRP: $28 Alc: 11.5%

Moondarra, "Studebaker," Pinot Noir, Gippsland, 2015:

Named after the 1957 Studebaker "President" that Prentice sold in order to buy fence posts for the vineyard. Black cherry, thyme, cabbage rose and Christmas pine aromas. Plenty of deep cherry flavours.

Rating: 8.5/10 RRP: $35 Alc: 13%

Moondarra, "Conception," Pinot Noir, Gippsland, 2015:

Sourced from the vineyard in the foothills of Mt Baw Baw in Gippsland. Crisp and fragrant nose: fruit full with a choc cherry mallow biscuit, along with soaked cherries, camphor smoke and sultry roses. The balance on the palate is ideal: medium bodied with dark roasted cherry fruit and floral after-tones with a hint of spiced oak.

Rating: 9/10 RRP: $60 Alc: 13%

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