Where to begin…traversing high into the Basket Range of the Adelaide Hills, one makes the nauseous winding drive arriving to unmarked property with steep sloping hills and what appears to resemble something out of ‘Deliverance.’ Sheep wander, rusted (and unused) winemaking and farming equipment dot the landscape, wild yeast get a little more wild here. This is only the beginning. This is a story. A story of a South African born, hospitality industry workingman turned ideological winemaking savant. This story like most, isn’t that simple. Like everything with Anton Von Klopper, winemaker & founder of Lucy Margaux/Domaine Lucci, things appear very simple on the outside but once one peels the skin back from the onion there are layers and layers of the ‘other,’ the good stuff that is. Anton is a polarizing figure. One that exudes confidence bordering on hubris though has the sincerity of your grandmother at his core. He loves to be on stage in front of others, maybe a bit too eccentric for most. That said his ‘stage persona’ appears to be his way of deflecting those that flat out don’t ‘get him.’ While his aberrant nature is a complete turn-off for the masses and a rallying cry for the blind & devoted ‘naturalists’ of the wine world, it is his soft side and authenticity that are the core of the man and the soul of the wines that he crafts.
This wine is clearly a Pinot Noir. It smells of varietal cherries and raspberries. But take a look at it, and its not your typical light, shiny, nigh transparent, red Pinot Noir. There’s almost a brown tinge to it. Not the brickish tinge of an aged Pinot, this is something altogether more earthen. On the palate it is warm, some earthiness, tight. The finish has spice in the roof of the mouth and this leads through to the back palate; this wine had me hooked.