Posts tagged Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir 2015

The Season

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.

The Wine

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.

Sue LaidlawPinot Noir
Tehau Reserve Pinot Noir 2014

The Season

There was a mild spring followed by a warm summer and early autumn. The fruit was ripe and in splendid condition so that was harvested before any late season rain.

The Vineyard and the Vines

The grapes were grown on a series of north facing, gradually descending terraces. Sufficient leaves were removed from around the bunches to ensure good exposure to sunlight in order to help ripening and to keep the fruit well ventilated and healthy.

The Harvest and Winemaking

We used traditional Burgundian winemaking methods. The fruit was picked in April and was put into small fermenting vats. After several days of being kept cool, primary fermentation started through the action of the fruit’s indigenous yeasts. During this fermentation, the floating cap of grape skins was gently submerged twice daily in order to keep it moist and healthy and to aid extraction. After fermentation stopped the wine and the grape remnants were left resting together. During this time it was tasted regularly, the aim being to optimise structure and mouth-feel. The wine was then pressed and put into new oak barriques from selected artisan Burgundian coopers, where it matured for 18 months. In the spring after harvest it underwent natural malo-lactic (secondary) fermentation by the action of the wine’s own microorganisms. The various vats were then carefully blended, according to taste. In making this Tehau we selected the barrels that we felt were the purest expression of the vintage and the terroir, showing typicity and balance rather than just emphasising power and size.

The Wine

On release the wine is a bright ruby colour with generous panoply of fruity aromas and flavours, suggesting black cherries, blackberries and raspberries, supported by vanilla pod, chocolate mocha and spice. There are also savoury hints of liquorice and grilled bacon and mushrooms. While full bodied and rich, its backbone of tangy ripe tannins gives it structure and length and provides a framework for the lingering flavours.

Sue LaidlawPinot Noir