Our winemakers comment that the 2009 vintage was the best they have experienced at Waimea Estates. Controlled cropping, a warm summer but cooler introduction to autumn, and a very settled harvest period, provided optimum conditions to make concentrated, premium wines across the winery’s varietal range. Truly, the vintage of the decade!
The fruit for this wine came from the stony loam soils of the Waimea Plains and from a clay soil north-facing Waimea Basin vineyard. A range of clones were included in this wine: 115, 114, 667 and 777; all of which were picked in early April with average sugar range of 23 - 24.5°Brix.
The approach to our Pinot Noir production is essentially traditional, gentle handling and extraction from harvest right through to bottling ensuring a fine tannin structure, without compromising of the rich fruit flavours naturally abundant in this variety.
On arrival at the winery, the fruit was destemmed with minimum crushing of the berries to open top fermentation vats; allowing some berries to remain whole. This results in an internal fermentation in these berries, contributing bright fruit characters to the wine. The musts were then held at 10°C for a short cold soak period to extract fruit characters and colour from the skins. Burgundian yeast strains were used in
fermentation. To aid extraction, the ferments were regularly pumped over and ferment temperatures peaked at 30-32ºC. Once the ferments had finished, the wines had a short period of maceration on the skins, then were pressed off to barrel. After nine months of maturation in both new and seasoned oak barrels, and after malolactic fermentation, the best barrels were tasted and selected for this wine. After being gently fined and stabilised, the wine was filtered before bottling on St. Patrick’s Day 2010– an auspicious day!