An enticing wine that will awaken your senses from the very first encounter. Leather, boysenberry and sweet spices combine. The supple palate with its transparent flavours of red fruit and earthy textures leads to a finish that is both balanced and intriguing.
Grapes for this wine were sourced from the southern side of the Wairau Valley including the Brancott, Fairhall and Ben Morven sub-regions and from the Barracks vineyard (located in the Omaka Valley) for the first time. The soils are aged alluvial gravels that are relatively free draining, with some clay content. This soil structure allows a relatively consistent availability of water to the vines throughout the summer months, minimising water stress to the pinot noir vines. All vines were pruned and trained to two-caned, vertically shoot positioned canopies. Average yields were approximately 6 tonnes/hectare. Much hand work for shoot thinning and bunch thinning was required during the season.
The Growing Season:
Idyllic flowering weather led to excellent set in all varieties and bloomed into a bountiful crop. A warm summer followed and the season finished close to the long-term average in terms of heat summation, sunshine hours and rainfall. The exceptionally dry ripening season was punctuated by two rain events during the second half of harvest, producing many a grey hair and speeding up the picking. All vineyards were picked in just over a month and the vintage was completed earlier than ever before.
Seven clones of pinot noir were hand harvested according to individual ripeness, with the first picked on March 20 and the last on April 11. Fruit was received at the winery in exceptional condition and composition averaged 24.5 Brix, pH 3.27 and acidity of 8.7g/l.
All fruit was de-stemmed into open top stainless steel tanks and, after a pre-fermentation cold soaking period of several days, the fermentations started with naturally occurring yeast. The caps were plunged during fermentation to aid colour and flavour extraction. Following an average period of three weeks on skins, the batches were drained and lightly pressed before being transferred into French oak barrels, approximately half of which were new. Malolactic fermentation was complete by early summer. After nearly a year ageing in oak, the individual components were blended in late February and the wine was then lightly fined with egg whites for clarity prior to bottling in June 2010. The final blend consists of 30% clone 777, 30% clone 667, 13% Abel clone, and the remainder a mix of Dijon clones. Final analysis shows the wine to have 14% v/v alcohol, pH of 3.60 and acidity of 5.5g/l..
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