Winery notes (2017 Vintage)
"A dark, well weighted wine with dark red fruits intermixed with savoury and herb notes. Good palate structure and texture complimented by fine grained tannins, delicate oak and with excellent length.
A cooler season, with slightly higher than average rainfall. Even bud burst without frost issues. Cooler weather over flowering set a smaller cropload. Good settled weather until harvest time when increased rainfall meant selective picking was necessary to ensure a balanced and healthy crop. Small but in excellent condition
The fruit for this wine was hand harvested from the Williams Hill vineyard on the eastern slopes of the Waipara Valley. Vineyard soils are predominantly clay and limestone based. The vines are trained to a 2 cane VSP trellis with row spacing at 2.0m and vine spacing at 1.5m. Clones are a mix of 5, 115, 667 and 777 on 3309 and 101-14 rootstock. The fruit was transported on the day of harvest to the winery for processing. Shoot and crop thinning are employed to ensure optimum fruit quality at low cropping levels of approx 1kg per vine.
The fruit was passed over a sorting table before being 100% destemmed and crushed into small 1.5tonne open fermenters. Fermentation began naturally after an ambient soak of 3 days. The skins were regularly punched down and the wine spent a total of 26 days cuvaison before being pressed, settled and racked to French oak (25% new). The wine underwent a natural Malolactic fermentation and spent a total of 14 months in oak without racking. It was then blended and bottled in September the following year."
Reviews for the 2016 vintage below…
5 Stars & 18.5-/20 Raymond Chan, February 2018 (2016 Vintage)
"Very dark, deep, purple-hued black-red colour, a little lighter on the rim, very youthful in appearance. The nose is deeply packed with ripe fruit aromas of black cherries and berryfruit, with black plums, hints of dark raspberries and florals, entwined with complexing dark herbs, earth and black minerals, unfolding nutty oak. Medium-full bodied, the palate has intensely concentrated, rich and ripe flavours of black cherries and berries, plums and savoury earth and mineral notes, with tar herb and nutty oak detail. The fruit is succulently sweet and enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity, and supported by fine-grained tannin structure. This has very good energy and vigour, and the wine carries with power and drive to a long and sustained finish. This is a well-concentrated, succulently ripe, black-fruited Pinot Noir with complex herb, earth and mineral notes on a fine-grained, well-structured, vigorous palate. Match with lamb, beef and venison over the next 6-8 years. Hand-picked fruit, clones 5, 115, 667 and 777, from the ‘Williams Hill’ vineyard, fully destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine spending 26 days on skins and aged 16 months in 25% new French oak. 200 cases made."