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Place of Changing Winds - Tradition and Estate Wines

“…Dreams and Best Practice…” [Bennie] - The Place of Changing Winds Estate and Tradition Wines
Place of Changing Winds - Tradition and Estate Wines

Today, we follow up our recent Place of Changing Winds Grower offer with the much more limited, Estate and Tradition wines. As the notes below from James Halliday, Mike Bennie, Erin Larkin, Huon Hooke, and Campbell Mattinson hopefully make clear, there is some fabulous quality on offer. The quantities remain very small, but the quality is outstanding.

 

The vintage: The 2022 season demanded a huge amount of work from the POCW vineyard team. The long, slow ripening season was the second of three consecutive La Niña vintages, and harvest was even later than 2021, beginning in the third week of April (so, very late!). In the end, thanks to meticulous canopy management, very low yields and a few warm days at the very end of the season, the Place of Changing Winds team harvested a small crop of perfectly clean, ripe fruit.

The bunches were once again very small (average 46 grams—tiny!), and each parcel was picked separately as each arrived at maturity. In the end, 7.2 tonnes of Pinot and 2.2 tonnes of Chardonnay were harvested—at an average of just over 200 grams of fruit per vine. To give that very low number some context, when you convert these yields to hectolitres per hectare (hl/ha), you arrive at a figure of less than 20hl/ha—roughly half the quantity permitted in Burgundy’s Grand Cru vineyards.

 

The wines: In 2022, Place of Changing Winds made Larderdark Chardonnay and Between Two Mountains Pinot Noir. There is no High Density this year, nor will there be one from 2023. This is because the estate’s highest-density vines are always the last to ripen, and in the cool, late seasons of ’22 and ’23, the fruit from these vines did not reach the point where they justified a separate cuvée. The fruit, therefore, went into the Between Two Mountains blend. Remember, however, that all the vines at Place of Changing Winds are high density!

 

The Pinot Noir has wonderful finesse and perfume, while the Chardonnay is a powerful yet racy wine with a lot of character. Both are the product of the place, a no-compromise approach in the vines and cellar and, of course, the long 2022 season. This release also sees the return of the Tradition label—the first release of the red since 2019 and the first white Tradition ever. Both are superb.

 

The closure for all wines is DIAM 30. See detailed notes below on all the wines produced and offered.

The Wines

Place of Changing Winds Tradition White 2022

Place of Changing Winds Tradition White 2022

This year, the POCW team decided to see if a blend of the three white grapes they have in the cellar might work as well as the Tradition red. They were blown away by the result, and so were we. This is one-third Chardonnay from a new Dominique Laurent Tronçais cask and two-thirds Marsanne and Roussanne. It has all the generosity of this producer’s Marsanne/Roussanne with the cut and thrust of the Chardonnay (not to mention some seriously classy oak). The first year of aging was in a mixture of 500-litre cask, Wineglobes and neutral barriques. The wine spent its second year in steel. It was bottled at the end of November 2023. 

“I tasted this at the work table and I also had a couple glasses with dinner, so it passed the initial do-I-want-to-take-this-home test. The texture is beautiful, the body too, it brings flavour and a level of panache. Almost anything with roussanne in it has me at hello and then there’s chardonnay, the charms of which precede it, so to speak. This is my kind of white wine, unafraid of flavour, unafraid of fullness, sparked with spice, slippery with sweet, integrated oak, the flesh of yellow stonefruit laid on. For all the time I spent with it, I kept wanting the finish to extend out a fraction further, and for there to be a fraction less warmth. An extra year or two in bottle will likely deal with the former, and possibly the latter too. Either way, it’s a classy white wine.”
93+ points, Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front
“Mid-light yellow colour, forward for its age, but the bouquet confirms that it's been wood aged and this has also added smoky charcuterie, spices and honey to result in a complex nose. The palate picks up the thread and delivers a rich full-bodied mouthful with roundness and viscosity, well judged phenolics contributing to the structure and texture, the finish rolling long and satisfying. This is a smashing Rhône-style dry white of great character and texture.”
95 points, Huon Hooke, The Real Review
“So the wine is two thirds a marsanne and roussanne blend and the rest a considered portion of chardonnay. Fancy oak, as is often the way of POCW, is also applied. I loved this from hello. Texture, weight, a slice of fresh cut, just ripe stone fruit acidity, a fuzz to the overall feel with some dollops of nougat amongst it all. Fragrant, full flavoured yet refreshing, a saline trill that speaks of minerality. It’s a cuddly wine with enough zestiness to refresh with each sip. Delicious drinking ensues.”
94 points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
"The 2022 Tradition comprises Marsanne and Chardonnay from Harcourt, Macedon Ranges. It's gently golden in the glass, and aromatically, it leads with pineapple and white rose, cumin, star anise, aniseed and curry leaf, with custard powder and sea salt. It is rich and undulating and sort of caresses the palate rather than sits atop it. The acidity regulates the density of the fruit and balances the opulent (almost fat!) capaciousness of the wine. It's intriguing and great and feels very much as if it would go down a treat at a summer seaside venue. Excellent. I like it more and more as it opens up in the glass. 14% alcohol, sealed under Diam."
94 points, Erin Larkin, The Wine Advocate
Place of Changing Winds Tradition White 2022
Place of Changing Winds Tradition White 2022 (1500ml)

Place of Changing Winds Tradition White 2022 (1500ml)

This year, the POCW team decided to see if a blend of the three white grapes they have in the cellar might work as well as the Tradition red. They were blown away by the result, and so were we. This is one-third Chardonnay from a new Dominique Laurent Tronçais cask and two-thirds Marsanne and Roussanne. It has all the generosity of this producer’s Marsanne/Roussanne with the cut and thrust of the Chardonnay (not to mention some seriously classy oak). The first year of aging was in a mixture of 500-litre cask, Wineglobes and neutral barriques. The wine spent its second year in steel. It was bottled at the end of November 2023. 

“I tasted this at the work table and I also had a couple glasses with dinner, so it passed the initial do-I-want-to-take-this-home test. The texture is beautiful, the body too, it brings flavour and a level of panache. Almost anything with roussanne in it has me at hello and then there’s chardonnay, the charms of which precede it, so to speak. This is my kind of white wine, unafraid of flavour, unafraid of fullness, sparked with spice, slippery with sweet, integrated oak, the flesh of yellow stonefruit laid on. For all the time I spent with it, I kept wanting the finish to extend out a fraction further, and for there to be a fraction less warmth. An extra year or two in bottle will likely deal with the former, and possibly the latter too. Either way, it’s a classy white wine.”
93+ points, Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front
“Mid-light yellow colour, forward for its age, but the bouquet confirms that it's been wood aged and this has also added smoky charcuterie, spices and honey to result in a complex nose. The palate picks up the thread and delivers a rich full-bodied mouthful with roundness and viscosity, well judged phenolics contributing to the structure and texture, the finish rolling long and satisfying. This is a smashing Rhône-style dry white of great character and texture.”
95 points, Huon Hooke, The Real Review
“So the wine is two thirds a marsanne and roussanne blend and the rest a considered portion of chardonnay. Fancy oak, as is often the way of POCW, is also applied. I loved this from hello. Texture, weight, a slice of fresh cut, just ripe stone fruit acidity, a fuzz to the overall feel with some dollops of nougat amongst it all. Fragrant, full flavoured yet refreshing, a saline trill that speaks of minerality. It’s a cuddly wine with enough zestiness to refresh with each sip. Delicious drinking ensues.”
94 points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
"The 2022 Tradition comprises Marsanne and Chardonnay from Harcourt, Macedon Ranges. It's gently golden in the glass, and aromatically, it leads with pineapple and white rose, cumin, star anise, aniseed and curry leaf, with custard powder and sea salt. It is rich and undulating and sort of caresses the palate rather than sits atop it. The acidity regulates the density of the fruit and balances the opulent (almost fat!) capaciousness of the wine. It's intriguing and great and feels very much as if it would go down a treat at a summer seaside venue. Excellent. I like it more and more as it opens up in the glass. 14% alcohol, sealed under Diam."
94 points, Erin Larkin, The Wine Advocate
Place of Changing Winds Tradition White 2022 (1500ml)
Place of Changing Winds Tradition Red 2022

Place of Changing Winds Tradition Red 2022

Made only in suitable years, this wine is inspired by the era-defining Syrah/Pinot blends crafted by Hunter legend Maurice O’Shea in the 1940s and ’50s. This release is a blend of 40% Pinot from estate vines and 60% Syrah from Heathcote and Harcourt. It spent the first year in a mix of large and small oak barrels, mostly neutral, with the last phase of aging in steel tank and 600-litre Stockinger cask. It was bottled at the end of November 2023. The result is a bright, perfumed, juicy wine. Although delicious now, it will certainly age well. 

“It’s not heavy but there’s impressive intensity of flavour here. It tastes of sheer plum, dark chocolate, roasted nuts and sweet cherry, with woodsy spice and cedarwood characters as part of the veneer. There’s texture, there’s twigs, there’s pure, perfectly ripened fruit, and there’s a firm stamp of integrated tannin. There’s some char to the aftertaste, which is not a distraction and is not a negative. There’s a lot to delve into here. It’s excellent.”
95 points, Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front
“Deep red-purple colour; fresh and clean aromas, herbal and lightly peppered, a slight bunchy touch, the palate firm, medium-bodied and grippy, with a little bitterness. There are subtle red fruits too, in trhe background. Pleasant medium-full weighted red, the shiraz tending to run the show. (60/40 shiraz and pinot noir).”
91 points, Huon Hooke, The Real Review
“Here is 60% syrah from Heathcote and Harcourt with a bolstering remainder of pinot noir. A variety of vessels cajole the wine to bottle. This feels meaty and sleek in the same breath. A whiff of woody spices and undergrowth before a compote of forest berries with a high note of tart cherry. Similar to taste, a sluice of fine, grainy tannin in tow, on medium weight and very persistent. It’s a slurpier red with plenty of charisma and high drinkability.
93 points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
“There’s a lot to consider and enjoy with this blend. A wonderful garnet-purple hue; aromatic with pepper and spice, charry oak and plums. Fuller bodied but, in a way, not a weighty wine as there’s such a brightness of fruit and a general vivacity throughout. Loads of tannins, textural and drying, with a hint of green walnut, yet all guided by tangy acidity en route to a fresh finish. And what to consider? The best food match.”
95 points, Jane Faulkner, The Wine Companion
Place of Changing Winds Tradition Red 2022
Place of Changing Winds Tradition Red 2022 (1500ml)

Place of Changing Winds Tradition Red 2022 (1500ml)

Made only in suitable years, this wine is inspired by the era-defining Syrah/Pinot blends crafted by Hunter legend Maurice O’Shea in the 1940s and ’50s. This release is a blend of 40% Pinot from estate vines and 60% Syrah from Heathcote and Harcourt. It spent the first year in a mix of large and small oak barrels, mostly neutral, with the last phase of aging in steel tank and 600-litre Stockinger cask. It was bottled at the end of November 2023. The result is a bright, perfumed, juicy wine. Although delicious now, it will certainly age well. 

“It’s not heavy but there’s impressive intensity of flavour here. It tastes of sheer plum, dark chocolate, roasted nuts and sweet cherry, with woodsy spice and cedarwood characters as part of the veneer. There’s texture, there’s twigs, there’s pure, perfectly ripened fruit, and there’s a firm stamp of integrated tannin. There’s some char to the aftertaste, which is not a distraction and is not a negative. There’s a lot to delve into here. It’s excellent.”
95 points, Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front
“Deep red-purple colour; fresh and clean aromas, herbal and lightly peppered, a slight bunchy touch, the palate firm, medium-bodied and grippy, with a little bitterness. There are subtle red fruits too, in trhe background. Pleasant medium-full weighted red, the shiraz tending to run the show. (60/40 shiraz and pinot noir).”
91 points, Huon Hooke, The Real Review
“Here is 60% syrah from Heathcote and Harcourt with a bolstering remainder of pinot noir. A variety of vessels cajole the wine to bottle. This feels meaty and sleek in the same breath. A whiff of woody spices and undergrowth before a compote of forest berries with a high note of tart cherry. Similar to taste, a sluice of fine, grainy tannin in tow, on medium weight and very persistent. It’s a slurpier red with plenty of charisma and high drinkability.
93 points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
“There’s a lot to consider and enjoy with this blend. A wonderful garnet-purple hue; aromatic with pepper and spice, charry oak and plums. Fuller bodied but, in a way, not a weighty wine as there’s such a brightness of fruit and a general vivacity throughout. Loads of tannins, textural and drying, with a hint of green walnut, yet all guided by tangy acidity en route to a fresh finish. And what to consider? The best food match.”
95 points, Jane Faulkner, The Wine Companion
Place of Changing Winds Tradition Red 2022 (1500ml)
Place of Changing Winds Larderdark Chardonnay 2022

Place of Changing Winds Larderdark Chardonnay 2022

At this stage in the vineyard’s evolution, the estate’s close-planted Chardonnay vines have only given tiny yields. This has resulted in terrific concentration and power, while the climate has delivered mouth-watering freshness and drive. These two factors make for something unique. The wine was fermented and aged in Wineglobe (glass), one older barrique and one new 500-litre Dominque Laurent cask. It underwent malolactic fermentation and was bottled at the end of November 2023. 

“Close-planted vines. The wine rested in glass Wineglobes, the sentient alien looking pods that they are, and two oak casks. So elegant, so refined, poise and precision yet with flavour and depth. It opens with flickers of flinty mineral elements, toast and woody spices, sweet spice too, sugared almond, green apple, stone fruits and alpine herbal elements. The palate a good reflection of this, quite notable concentration and depth, a plushness trimmed with talc-like mineral pucker and a long, palate-staining, sweet spice finish. One of those wines you shake the last drops out of the bottle onto your tongue, or is that just me?”
96 points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
“Low yields this vintage, which is a bummer, so not much made but great concentration of fruit weight and power the positive outcome. However, just when you think all the spiced stone fruit, citrus, nougat-like lees and cedary oak will add up to a weighty wine, it does an about-face. The acidity kicks in, reining this in beautifully. It is a distinctive wine and one day, will emerge as a wine of place.”
96 points, Jane Faulkner, The Wine Companion
Place of Changing Winds Larderdark Chardonnay 2022
Place of Changing Winds Between Two Mountains Pinot Noir 2022

Place of Changing Winds Between Two Mountains Pinot Noir 2022

Place of Changing Winds is roughly equidistant between Mount Macedon and Mount Bullengarook, hence the name of this cuvée, which is essentially the most representative Pinot of the season. It’s a fine, textural Pinot produced from all the estate’s plots (including the highest-density vines), save what went into the tiny Beyond the Forest cuvée. It spent 18 months maturing in Stockinger casks with 50% new oak (although this new component was a 1,000 cask, so it has very little impact). It’s a wine that will drink well young and has significant cellaring potential. It was bottled in January 2024. 

“Good depth and hue of colour, with a sandalwood aroma, liberal oak evident, over dark cherry fruit which built in fragrance with time in the glass. The palate is elegantly structured and refined, with intense and focused flavour augmented by fine and firm tannins, the finish extending very long. A tensioned pinot, rich in sweet cherry fruit, that is excellent now but promises more in the future.”
96 points, Huon Hooke, The Real Review
“The 2022 Between Two Mountains Pinot Noir is spicy and fine on the nose, with cherry pip, raspberry leaf, crushed rocks, pumice stone tannins and black tea. In the mouth, the wine is all about rose petals and iron, silty tannins and lashings of blood plum skin, with violets and Pink Lady apples, rosemary, blood orange, arnica and a very gentle amaro persuasion. A light finish is made persistent by enduring tannins that chew and sway. It's so nice. Distinct. It's easy to swoon somewhat over the packaging, which is not important to wine quality but an indication of aesthetics. It matured for 18 months in Stockinger casks (50% new) and was bottled in January 2024. 13.2% alcohol, sealed under Diam.”
94+ points, Erin Larkin, The Wine Advocate
“Named for its more or less equidistance between Mount Macedon and Mount Bullengarook. Produced from all plots on the estate. Matured in 50% new and old Stockinger casks. Svelte and sleek with distinct succulence and pucker. A sheath of lacy, granitic tannin over dark cherry, tumbles of dried herbs, woody spice, some nori and truffle-like characters in the mix and a general sense of ultra pure, tart cherry juice and flecks of dried currant and cranberry. A real feast for the senses here. Incredible extension of flavour and an almost unnerving consistency to texture in all that – a long and exacting ride of character and charm. Loads of evocative perfume too. Wonderful, all up.”
96+ points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
“A blend of all the estate sites, except the small parcel making up the Beyond The Forest pinot. This needed a lot of time to unfurl, so best to decant it. It’ll then reward you with morello and sweet dark cherries, warm earth and sumac aromas. Full bodied, savoury with pleasing supple tannins.”
95 points, Jane Faulkner, The Wine Companion
Place of Changing Winds Between Two Mountains Pinot Noir 2022
Place of Changing Winds Harcourt Marsanne Roussanne 2022

Place of Changing Winds Harcourt Marsanne Roussanne 2022

This comes from the same vineyard as the Harcourt Syrah. As always, the grapes were picked flavour ripe, pressed gently and sent straight to barrel (500- and 228-litre) and 220-litre Wineglobe for fermentation and aging. Malolactic conversion happened naturally. After 12 months in cask and Wineglobe, the wine was racked to tank for an additional eight months’ maturation before being bottled at the end of November 2023. It has the power and richness of previous releases, yet with good vibrancy thanks to Harcourt’s soils, the cooler year and the inclusion of good levels of Roussanne in the blend. It will certainly age, gaining more honeyed characters, but it’s delicious now. 

“Some roussanne in the mix. The wine is matured in a mix of barrels and those alien-technology-looking, Wineglobe, glass, ovoid vessels. This is such a wonderful wine its success is in its concentration of flavour and texture (fleshy and chalky at the same time), its vivid sense of hallmarks of the variety (bitter lemon, preserved lemon, herbal detail, minerality) And a general sense of energy. It sits at medium weight. Its stains the palette gently, its perfume is inviting and ultra-pleasing, that it drinks with such ease belies its complexity. Wickedly enjoyable.”
94 points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
"The 2022 Harcourt Marsanne contains Roussanne as well; they go together like tomato and basil. On the nose, the wine is discreet, almost hesitant, despite having been in the glass almost 30 minutes. In the mouth, it is ample, spicy and rich, with undulating fruit and phenolic weight, like a blanket. There is more texture than flavor here, as the varieties tend to lean on their phenolic structure for impact. Having said that, layers of cheesecloth, cantaloupe, white pepper, roasted star anise and flame-grilled pineapple make their presence felt. This is an intriguing wine, one that is demanding gentle coaxing; its stubbornness to yield is both infuriating and compelling. 14.5% alcohol, sealed under Diam."
93+ points, Erin Larkin, The Wine Advocate
“As you’d expect from a blend of marsanne/roussanne, it’s full of honeysuckle, pear skin phenolics and gorgeous texture, with white stone fruit, blanched almonds, ginger powder and oak spices. It’s a little smoky, toasty with nutty lees, and everything is contained by a savoury overlay. Full bodied, luscious without being weighty. It’s rather moreish – you’ll keep coming back to it.”
95 points, Jane Faulkner, The Wine Companion
Place of Changing Winds Harcourt Marsanne Roussanne 2022
Place of Changing Winds Harcourt Marsanne Roussanne 2022 (1500ml)

Place of Changing Winds Harcourt Marsanne Roussanne 2022 (1500ml)

This comes from the same vineyard as the Harcourt Syrah. As always, the grapes were picked flavour ripe, pressed gently and sent straight to barrel (500- and 228-litre) and 220-litre Wineglobe for fermentation and aging. Malolactic conversion happened naturally. After 12 months in cask and Wineglobe, the wine was racked to tank for an additional eight months’ maturation before being bottled at the end of November 2023. It has the power and richness of previous releases, yet with good vibrancy thanks to Harcourt’s soils, the cooler year and the inclusion of good levels of Roussanne in the blend. It will certainly age, gaining more honeyed characters, but it’s delicious now. 

“Some roussanne in the mix. The wine is matured in a mix of barrels and those alien-technology-looking, Wineglobe, glass, ovoid vessels. This is such a wonderful wine its success is in its concentration of flavour and texture (fleshy and chalky at the same time), its vivid sense of hallmarks of the variety (bitter lemon, preserved lemon, herbal detail, minerality) And a general sense of energy. It sits at medium weight. Its stains the palette gently, its perfume is inviting and ultra-pleasing, that it drinks with such ease belies its complexity. Wickedly enjoyable.”
94 points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
"The 2022 Harcourt Marsanne contains Roussanne as well; they go together like tomato and basil. On the nose, the wine is discreet, almost hesitant, despite having been in the glass almost 30 minutes. In the mouth, it is ample, spicy and rich, with undulating fruit and phenolic weight, like a blanket. There is more texture than flavor here, as the varieties tend to lean on their phenolic structure for impact. Having said that, layers of cheesecloth, cantaloupe, white pepper, roasted star anise and flame-grilled pineapple make their presence felt. This is an intriguing wine, one that is demanding gentle coaxing; its stubbornness to yield is both infuriating and compelling. 14.5% alcohol, sealed under Diam."
93+ points, Erin Larkin, The Wine Advocate
“As you’d expect from a blend of marsanne/roussanne, it’s full of honeysuckle, pear skin phenolics and gorgeous texture, with white stone fruit, blanched almonds, ginger powder and oak spices. It’s a little smoky, toasty with nutty lees, and everything is contained by a savoury overlay. Full bodied, luscious without being weighty. It’s rather moreish – you’ll keep coming back to it.”
95 points, Jane Faulkner, The Wine Companion
Place of Changing Winds Harcourt Marsanne Roussanne 2022 (1500ml)
Place of Changing Winds Syrah No.2 2022

Place of Changing Winds Syrah No.2 2022

This wine is a blend of Heathcote (66%) and Harcourt (34%) Syrah. Although this is the “entry-point” red, it gets the same attention to detail as the other cuvées, and even here, it has serious intensity, good tannins and ageworthiness. About 70% whole bunches were used, and the wine matured in a range of casks (primarily large Stockinger) for the first year before resting in tank for the rest of its maturation. It was bottled in late December 2023. It’s a spicy, cool Syrah/Shiraz that will drink well young but can be aged with confidence.

“A blend of Heathcote and Harcourt fruit turning out a deep, dark garnet hue; aromas of bitumen, Middle Eastern/exotic spices with some meaty/smoky notes, all so spicy, with some florals too. It even has a rusty/iron aroma. Flavours of black plums, licorice and fresh herbs flood the medium- to fuller-bodied palate, and while tannins are a little raspy, this is still tightly coiled and needs more time to open.”
93 points, Jane Faulkner, The Wine Companion
“This is a combo of the Heathcote and Harcourt vineyard sources. There’s around 70% whole bunch used. It feels friendly and easy drinking in its way, despite also holding a sense of inkiness and depth. Dark cherry, ripe plum, choc-liquorice with swathes of eucalyptus, dried green herb, pepperberry, lifted myrtle-like pungency – all attractive, all just so. A smooth ride, a pleasure zone red of evenness and general syrah-isms. Cool as.”
92 points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
“‘Vibrant and lifted fresh red berries and purple flowers,’ wrote [Ben] Mullen, giving this a top-six result. ‘Medium bodied on the palate, it had flow of tannin from fruit and oak with the fruits flowing to great drive and tension of acidity. Had some real savoury elements to the wine also, fresh crushed leaves and autumnal vibes to it showing from the whole bunch. Good weight, texture and length. Such a well balanced rendition of style of syrah. Lovely.’”
Young Guns of Wine, younggunsofwine.com
Place of Changing Winds Syrah No.2 2022
Place of Changing Winds Syrah No.2 2022 (1500ml)

Place of Changing Winds Syrah No.2 2022 (1500ml)

This wine is a blend of Heathcote (66%) and Harcourt (34%) Syrah. Although this is the “entry-point” red, it gets the same attention to detail as the other cuvées, and even here, it has serious intensity, good tannins and ageworthiness. About 70% whole bunches were used, and the wine matured in a range of casks (primarily large Stockinger) for the first year before resting in tank for the rest of its maturation. It was bottled in late December 2023. It’s a spicy, cool Syrah/Shiraz that will drink well young but can be aged with confidence.

“A blend of Heathcote and Harcourt fruit turning out a deep, dark garnet hue; aromas of bitumen, Middle Eastern/exotic spices with some meaty/smoky notes, all so spicy, with some florals too. It even has a rusty/iron aroma. Flavours of black plums, licorice and fresh herbs flood the medium- to fuller-bodied palate, and while tannins are a little raspy, this is still tightly coiled and needs more time to open.”
93 points, Jane Faulkner, The Wine Companion
“This is a combo of the Heathcote and Harcourt vineyard sources. There’s around 70% whole bunch used. It feels friendly and easy drinking in its way, despite also holding a sense of inkiness and depth. Dark cherry, ripe plum, choc-liquorice with swathes of eucalyptus, dried green herb, pepperberry, lifted myrtle-like pungency – all attractive, all just so. A smooth ride, a pleasure zone red of evenness and general syrah-isms. Cool as.”
92 points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
“‘Vibrant and lifted fresh red berries and purple flowers,’ wrote [Ben] Mullen, giving this a top-six result. ‘Medium bodied on the palate, it had flow of tannin from fruit and oak with the fruits flowing to great drive and tension of acidity. Had some real savoury elements to the wine also, fresh crushed leaves and autumnal vibes to it showing from the whole bunch. Good weight, texture and length. Such a well balanced rendition of style of syrah. Lovely.’”
Young Guns of Wine, younggunsofwine.com
Place of Changing Winds Syrah No.2 2022 (1500ml)
Place of Changing Winds Harcourt Syrah 2022

Place of Changing Winds Harcourt Syrah 2022

This is the second release from Harcourt. It comes from a very specific plot in Victoria’s Bendigo G.I., on the foothills of Mt Alexander. With its pure granite soils and mild climate, the POCW team believe that Harcourt is one of Australia's most exciting terroirs for Syrah. 50% whole bunches were used, and the wine underwent almost two years’ maturation. The initial period was in older 600- and 1,500-litre Stockinger casks, with the final eight months in 2000-litre Stockinger. It was bottled in late December 2023. It’s a wine that combines lifted perfume and finesse with excellent depth and fine structure.

“50% whole bunch; two years in oak. An intense and utterly compelling wine, driven by the spice and outright perfume on the nose; then the elegant and medium body, with a minimum of 30 years riding on its superfine tannins and balance; the rare granitic sands are the key. 2642 bottles, 60 magnums produced.”
96 points, James Halliday, The Weekend Australian
“Deep and bright purple-red colour, with nutmeg and assorted spices on the nose, the palate medium full-bodied and smoothly textured, with a slight ferrous bitterness on the aftertaste, and a slight dip in the middle, accentuated by the grip on the finish. This is young and somewhat undeveloped: it promises more if cellared a while.”
94 points, Huon Hooke, The Real Review
“From a vineyard in Harcourt North which is in Bendigo wine region. Wild fermentation, spends time in Stockinger, larger format barrels, gets 50% whole bunches in the ferment. The site is specified for its sand and granite soil profile. Highly perfumed, red berries, some cranberry zestiness, wild scree and herbs in a pepper-meets-alpine greenery kind of whiff, some aniseed, touch of clove. It sits at medium weight, slinks along all pretty within a web of lacy, talc-like tannin and finishes with lightly puckering dryness. Almost dart-shaped and feels good for it. Flavours match the bouquet, per se. It’s delicious, fine and right.”
93 points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
“What I love about this is its savoury heart and texture – yes, heady aromatics as it’s syrah after all (and 50% whole bunches in the fermentation), so it’s perfumed with violets, dark plums and warm baking spices with wafts of licorice and hot bitumen, stony even. The palate thrills. Full bodied, rich and densely packed with flavour but also grainy tannins. It’s structured and detailed, filling yet never seems weighty.”
96 points, Jane Faulkner, The Wine Companion
Place of Changing Winds Harcourt Syrah 2022
Place of Changing Winds Harcourt Syrah 2022 (1500ml)

Place of Changing Winds Harcourt Syrah 2022 (1500ml)

This is the second release from Harcourt. It comes from a very specific plot in Victoria’s Bendigo G.I., on the foothills of Mt Alexander. With its pure granite soils and mild climate, the POCW team believe that Harcourt is one of Australia's most exciting terroirs for Syrah. 50% whole bunches were used, and the wine underwent almost two years’ maturation. The initial period was in older 600- and 1,500-litre Stockinger casks, with the final eight months in 2000-litre Stockinger. It was bottled in late December 2023. It’s a wine that combines lifted perfume and finesse with excellent depth and fine structure.

“50% whole bunch; two years in oak. An intense and utterly compelling wine, driven by the spice and outright perfume on the nose; then the elegant and medium body, with a minimum of 30 years riding on its superfine tannins and balance; the rare granitic sands are the key. 2642 bottles, 60 magnums produced.”
96 points, James Halliday, The Weekend Australian
“Deep and bright purple-red colour, with nutmeg and assorted spices on the nose, the palate medium full-bodied and smoothly textured, with a slight ferrous bitterness on the aftertaste, and a slight dip in the middle, accentuated by the grip on the finish. This is young and somewhat undeveloped: it promises more if cellared a while.”
94 points, Huon Hooke, The Real Review
“From a vineyard in Harcourt North which is in Bendigo wine region. Wild fermentation, spends time in Stockinger, larger format barrels, gets 50% whole bunches in the ferment. The site is specified for its sand and granite soil profile. Highly perfumed, red berries, some cranberry zestiness, wild scree and herbs in a pepper-meets-alpine greenery kind of whiff, some aniseed, touch of clove. It sits at medium weight, slinks along all pretty within a web of lacy, talc-like tannin and finishes with lightly puckering dryness. Almost dart-shaped and feels good for it. Flavours match the bouquet, per se. It’s delicious, fine and right.”
93 points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
“What I love about this is its savoury heart and texture – yes, heady aromatics as it’s syrah after all (and 50% whole bunches in the fermentation), so it’s perfumed with violets, dark plums and warm baking spices with wafts of licorice and hot bitumen, stony even. The palate thrills. Full bodied, rich and densely packed with flavour but also grainy tannins. It’s structured and detailed, filling yet never seems weighty.”
96 points, Jane Faulkner, The Wine Companion
Place of Changing Winds Harcourt Syrah 2022 (1500ml)
Place Of Changing Winds Heathcote Syrah 2021

Place Of Changing Winds Heathcote Syrah 2021

This wine is now released with an extra year’s aging. It comes from an east-facing plot of 20+-year-old vines rooted in the red Cambrian soils of the Mount Camel Range in Heathcote’s north. Although this sub-region can produce some of Heathcote’s most refined wines, it is still an area that lends itself to growing powerful Syrah, so it gets an additional year in cask. The 2021 spent its first year in a range of Stockinger cask and concrete tank before being blended to one 2,000-litre Stockinger cask for the remainder of its maturation. It was bottled at the end of November 2023 after 33 months’ aging. It is a gorgeous, dark-fruited expression of this famous region. At 13% alcohol, it is in no way heavy and, in fact, is quite the “refreshing” contrast to many wines released from the area. Only around 10% new oak used.

“There’s a deal of oak flavour here but it combines well with the bold nature of the fruit. Toast, cedarwood and cream characters wrap around black cherries, plums and peppercorns, the (assertive but integrated) tannin then threaded finely. The finish is impressively prolonged, and while it feels ripe and flavoursome it’s also juicy; refreshing even.”
93+ points, Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front
“Larger format Stockinger barrels and concrete make up a lot of the wine’s vessel maturation profile. The vineyard from northern climes in Heathcote. It spent nearly three years resting before bottling. A wild card, a surprise package. A wine of energy, febrile tension, freshness and drawl. It’s all wild, brambly red berries, dusty, fine tannin, blood orange (pleasing) sweet-bitterness, fine, dark chocolate mellow qualities and faint game meat savouriness. It feels decidedly light and bright, sure, complex, layered, some intensity, but the vim and vigour here is undeniable. This will slake a thirst.”
94 points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front
“The Heathcote syrah now spends an extra year ageing – all up, 33 months; the first year matured in Stockinger barrels and concrete, then into one 2000L Stockinger cask. Good decision as the tannins are resolved and the wine feels complete. Wonderfully aromatic, from florals, dark fruit and warm spices to some charcuterie notes – think bresaola. The full-bodied palate unfurls all savoury, rich with some bitter dark chocolate and a texture of pomace. Complex and detailed, flavours build, and it finishes long. Impressive.”
95 points, Jane Faulkner, The Wine Companion
Place Of Changing Winds Heathcote Syrah 2021

“You get the sense that Place of Changing Winds is not only an artistic and pragmatic wine project but… a thing to be inspired by and perhaps see what is possible from dreams and best practice.” Mike Bennie, The Wine Front

“This extraordinary high-density vineyard is slotted between Mount Macedon and Mount Bullengarook. A high-density site of pinot noir and chardonnay, ranging from 12,500 to 33,000 vines/ha: there is nothing like this in Australia, or even in Burgundy (where 10,000 vines are deemed high density). No expense has been spared and the level of detail is nothing short of extraordinary.”  ★★★★★ Halliday Wine Companion

“Place of Changing Winds – the place and the vineyard – may well be the most exciting ‘new’ development in Australian wine. It will jump straight on to elite lists of Australian wine producers. You could describe this endeavour in one word: uncompromised.” Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front

“Robert Walters has, in a manner of speaking, gone where angels fear to tread.” James Halliday, The Weekend Australian

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