A mild spring was followed by extremely hot weather over the early and middle part of summer. Initially we thought the season might be too hot for pinot noir but the latter part of summer was quite cool, bringing things back into balance. The autumn was dry, lingering and warm. Overall, this pattern resulted in early development and maturation of the grapes but fortunately drew out the crucial ripening period, promoting a full spectrum of ripe varietal pinot flavours and tannins with good levels of natural acidity.
This wine was made utilising the century old techniques used to make red Burgundy. The fruit was carefully hand selected after harvest so that only the best grapes were used. These were then put into small vats, retaining as many whole berries as we could. The fruit was kept cool for several days before a natural fermentation commenced through the action of the pinot’s indigenous yeasts. The floating cap of skins was then regularly, but gently plunged by hand to keep it moist, while avoiding excessive extraction. After the fermentation finished, the new wine was kept in contact with the remnants of the grapes for a period, the optimal duration for each vat being determined by daily tasting. The wine was then put into oak barriques made by French artisan coopers, (50% new) and allowed to mature there for 18 months. In the spring after the harvest, when the weather in the cellar warmed, the wine underwent natural malo-lactic fermentation by the action of its indigenous micro-organisms.
Our Pinot Noir is made in small batches and in top years we select those with distinctive varietal character and typicity to make this wine, particularly emphasising balance and longevity. Typically, these batches come from our oldest blocks of vines, the majority of which are on their own roots.
The wine has the rich carmine hue, shot with hints of ruby. It shows a mixture of plump, dark fruits, such as black cherries, purple peaches and plums, mixed with vibrant red fruits such as raspberries, mulberries and the like. Behind these is a complex array of savoury characters, giving impressions of roast meat, grilled mushrooms, wood smoke and foie gras. The wine persists and expands in the mouth so that it fans out, lingering on the palate. A spine of taut acidity keeps it tight knit and focussed.
Although ready to drink on release, with careful cellaring it should continue to develop additional layers of complexity for 6-10 years after harvest and live beyond.
Wine is a natural health food.