2016 Pinot Noir (Single Vineyard) - Awatere Valley 6 750ml
A deep ruby hue in the glass, this Awatere Valley Pinot Noir displays aromatic layers of cherry, plum and bright red fruit notes with hints of wild thyme. The palate is richly textured with flavours of red and dark fruit, spice and integrated French oak underpinned by nuances of dry herbs and savoury notes. Mid-weight on the palate, this wine is balanced with refined silky tannins that lead to a long and elegant finish.
Grapes for this wine are handpicked at optimal ripeness before being transported back to the winery for processing. Once at the winery the fruit is gently destemmed and then lightly crushed using state of the art processing equipment. Batch fermented according to block and clone in small open-top fermenters, the must undergo a cold soak lasting around 7 days before being warmed and inoculated either with selected yeasts or left to undergo a ‘wild’ ferment using indigenous yeasts found naturally on the grapes. Once fermentation is complete the wine undergoes a short period of post-fermentation maturation on skins before being pressed directly to a combination of old and new French barriques. These barrels are kept cool in a temperature-controlled cellar over the winter months, before being warming in spring, allowing the wine to undergo a secondary malo-lactic fermentation. Barrels are carefully monitored over this period and once the malolactic fermentation is determined to be 100% complete the final blend is carefully put together before being filtered and bottled in early March.
The grapes for this wine were sourced from vineyards in Marlborough’s stunning Awatere Valley. With a cooler and drier climate than other parts of Marlborough the growing season is generally longer and ripening slower, allowing for optimum flavour development. The 2016/2017 growing season began with a relatively frost-free spring resulting in good early shoot growth. However, variable conditions over flowering meant slightly lower than average crop levels. The summer months were dominated by extremely strong and persistent winds – slowing down rapid shoot growth in the vines. Leaf plucking was carried out on all blocks over the growing season to facilitate bunch exposure and promote flavour development in the fruit. Warm still dry conditions were enjoyed in the late summer weeks until mid-March, when unseasonal early autumn rains fell over much of the country. The later part of the harvest period provided more typical warm and settled weather allowing a little extra ripening time throughout the Pinot Noir blocks.