Top Rated Pinot Noir at the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion Awards
97+ Points - Stuart McCloskey "Franco’s 1er Pinot Noir always comes from a block from his top paddock vineyard called 'SRM'. This block faces West but runs down to the South. This is the only block which sees the inclusion of around 20-25% whole bunches in the ferment. There’s a heavenly, very pure bouquet – crushed wild strawberries intermixed with a melange of red berry fruits, anise, a tartness coming from cranberry scents and a lift from aromatic violets and rose petal. Everything is pulled together with a lovely minerality bordering salinity. The palate is medium-bodied and tensile. Wonderful judgment between the fruit, filigree tannins and perfectly pitched acidity. As with the nose, the purity is breathtaking. There’s a captivating sense of weightlessness – Feminine and highly intellectual. The never-ending finish of blood orange sorbet is a joy. Franco should seriously consider a rebrand from 1er to Grand Cru as this is special. Drinking now to 2025 and would benefit from a further 1-2 years in the bottle. Decanted for one hour and served using Zalto’s Burgundy glassware."
97 Points - James Halliday "This is the standard-bearer for Hoddles Creek's estate-grown pinot noirs. Bright crimson-purple hue of moderate depth; the perfumed bouquet has spice, hints of violets (unexpected so soon, but don't complain), cherry and plum, a gathering replayed on the stage of the palate which is wonderfully long."