For those of us that have known Phillip Jones throughout his winegrowing evolution–for some of us that spans over three decades–and those that have managed to grasp the idiosyncrasies and eccentricities of the man (and there are many) and his extraordinary wines, those that have persevered with his unrelenting obsession with the pinot noir grape (except for a cabernet aberration early in the piece), those that have endured countless Burgundy and Rhone dinners and tastings with him and the privilege of his enormous generosity and magnanimous sharing of bottles, those that have come to appreciate his affability, peculiarities, erraticism, his quip and vagary and all the oscillations and manifestations in between…over a lunch; a standing ovation and resounding applause, hip-hip-hurray!, hip-hip-hurray!, hip-hip-hurray! to Phillip Jones, Finalist in the Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year 2013.
This is also a great day for the Biodynamic winegrowing movement in Australia and substantiates Jones belief and tenacious toil with organics and biodynamic ideologies. The naysayers said it could not be done in Leongatha-Southeast Gippsland, that it was too humid and vine disease would never be combated without conventional sprays and pesticides. Well, Phillip Jones has proved them wrong and has adapted his holistic methods and created a unique biodiversity within his vineyards that saw him make excellent wines even in the worst of years with the rain-soaked 2011, whilst his neighbours and the region wrote off the vintage.
Bass Phillip wines are made in miniscule quantities although through Phillip Jones’ fascination with Asia you will find his wines in some of the most remote parts of South East Asia. We invited Jones to participate in our groundbreaking pinot noir event in Singapore where 108 consumers and many top wine journalists from around the world judged Bass Phillip Reserve Pinot Noir 2003 the most overall preferred wine – visit the links below.
As it turned out, Jones could not personally make it for the event due to his commitments in the vineyard with the challenging 2011 vintage, to which Andrew Jefford and I stood in for him, possibly an even bigger challenge for the both of us than what Jones was experiencing–Andrew provided the intellect, I provided the eccentricities.
There are rare wines, then there are rare winemakers.
Find out more on Bass Phillip at www.bassphillip.com
Domaine de la Romanee Conti vs the World Blind Tasting Results
Overall most preferred wine: (aggregate of all the wines, obviously older vintages having the advantage)
• Bass Philipp Reserve 2003 – AUS
The Pinot Noir Prodigy from Down-Under
New releases from Bass Phillip by Andrew Jenkins
A Grand Cru Chardonnay, Downunder by Andrew Jenkins