Bellvale Pinot Noir 2003

Review “Deep colour; very rich, powerful and concentrated lashings of dark plum fruit, almost Central Otago in style; certainly New World . . . John Ellis, of Bellvale Wines, is the third under this name to be actively involved in the wine industry. His background as a former 747 pilot, and the knowledge he gained of Burgundy over many visits, sets him apart from the others. In 1998, he established 10 hectares (25 acres) of Pinot Noir and 3 hectares (12 acres) of Chardonnay on the red soils of a north-facing slope on the property. He chose a density of 7150 vines per hectare, following as far as possible the precepts of Burgundy, but limited (as are so many) by tractor size, which precludes narrower row spacing and thus even higher plant density.”

Rating 93. 4.5 glasses.


Good Living, Sydney Morning Herald Review Page

“A structured wine with real grip and depth, stewed cherry aromas, and good intensity of ripe, fruit-sweet flavour in the dark-berry spectrum. It needs to breathe; because of the tannins, it's better with food. Now to 2008 . . . Indulge yourself.” - Huon Hooke  

Good Living, Sydney Morning Herald, September 2005.


Nick's Wine Merchants of Melbourne Review Page

“This is the debut release from Bellvale, made by John Ellis (not the same man that makes Hanging Rock) from his Gippsland vineyard. The colour is impressive – deep crimson with crimson-mauve hue. Aroma of violets, spice, strawberry and spicy oak. The palate has excellent weight and mouth feel, with the Pinot Noir spice wave beginning to build slowly on the palate and extending well into the aftertaste. Velvet soft tannins with a powerful palate flavour profile. Very long aftertaste of spice, cherry and oak.”

Nick's Wine Merchants of Melbourne newsletter, August 2005. 94 points.


Discover the Wine Regions of Victoria Page

“[Of the Gippsland wine-growing region of] South Gippsland, based around Leongatha, is the coolest, the wettest and the windiest. Viticulture is demanding, but get it right, and the results are some of Australia's most exciting Pinot Noir . . . John Ellis at Bellvale is another of the new breed of Gippsland vignerons. The Bellvale Pinot Noir style is on the dark, intense side, with black cherries and fruit-of-the-forest aromas and flavours. Everything, including a strong structure, suggests a wine to age. Do we have the patience to wait? Can't see it myself.” – Jeni Port

Discover the Wine Regions of Victoria, supplement to The Age newspaper, September 2006.