Pinot Noir 2016
Warm and settled weather during flowering led to a very large initial set. Fruit thinning was then undertaken to bring the crop back to the desired level. A perfect summer, followed by a warm dry autumn enabled the grapes to be harvested with excellent flavour development and physiological ripeness.
The Harvest and Winemaking
Traditional Burgundian winemaking methods were used to make this wine. We picked the various blocks at different stages, depending on their maturity, aiming for a range of red and dark fruit flavours. Approximately one quarter of the grapes were put at the bottom of the fermentation vats as whole bunches, with the balance being destemmed on top, retaining as many whole berries as possible. The vats were kept cool over the next few days to help extract the soft, silky tannins from the pinot noir skins. After approximately a week the must started to ferment naturally. During fermentation, the floating cap of grape skins was gently plunged twice daily. When the fermentation finished, the grape remnants were left to steep in the wine for up to a week to help extract a different range of tannins that add structure and depth. The exact duration of this period was determined by daily tasting. Subsequently the wine was gently pressed off and put into oak barriques (25% new), from selected artisan Burgundian coopers. In the summer after harvest, when the weather warmed, the wine underwent a natural malo-lactic (secondary) fermentation. After maturing for 18mths in these barriques, the wine was finally bottled.
It is deep ruby in appearance with a complex bouquet full of dark plum, chocolate, vanilla and spice. Layered beneath there are also savoury hints of grilled meat, mushroom, woodsmoke and earth. The palate is mouth-filling, yet soft and plush, with silky smooth fine-grained tannins. Generous fruit weight is perfectly balanced with refreshing acidity and a prolonged finish. An outstanding season has resulted in a superbly crafted wine that is both elegant and refined.