Cooler than average Spring temperatures in North Canterbury led to a smaller set, resulting in excellent fruit concentration. A warm Summer and long lingering Autumn then followed, allowing this smaller crop to reach optimum 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 (15% 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 22mths in these barriques, the wine was finally bottled.
It is bright ruby in appearance with complex aromas of red and dark fruits, such as raspberries, blackberries, black cherries and purple plums. Layered beneath this are hints of chocolate, vanilla and spice. On the palate it is rich and powerful, with ripe and velvety tannins adding a satisfying mouth feel. This season’s smaller crop has resulted in a wine with excellent concentration, structure and length.