Grapes for this wine were sourced from the southern side of the Wairau Valley including the Brancott, Fairhall and Ben Morven sub-regions and from the Barracks vineyard (located in the Omaka Valley) for the first time. The soils are aged alluvial gravels that are relatively free draining, with some clay content. This soil structure allows a relatively consistent availability of water to the vines throughout the summer months, minimising water stress to the pinot noir vines. All vines were pruned and trained to two-caned, vertically shoot positioned canopies. Average yields were approximately 6 tonnes/hectare. Much hand work for shoot thinning and bunch thinning was required during the season
All fruit was de-stemmed into open top stainless steel tanks and, after a pre-fermentation cold soaking period of several days, the fermentations started with naturally occurring yeast. The caps were plunged during fermentation to aid colour and flavour extraction. Following an average period of three weeks on skins, the batches were drained and lightly pressed before being transferred into French oak barrels, approximately half of which were new. Malolactic fermentation was complete by early summer. After nearly a year ageing in oak, the individual components were blended in late February and the wine was then lightly fined
An enticing wine that will awaken your senses from the very first encounter. Leather, boysenberry and sweet spices combine. The supple palate with its transparent flavours of red fruit and earthy textures leads to a finish that is both balanced and intriguing.
Richness, some earthiness, rich cedar character, a touch of mocha – a regal sort of perfume of ripeness and concentration. Shows freshness of fruit, concentrated, sappy black fruit characters trimmed with dusty tannins, meshed to cedar-like subtle woodiness. Long in flavour, firm yet appealing, feels like it needs time or a good old fashioned decant. Complex and serious. Mike Bennie; The Wine Front
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