Harvest 2014 was notable for the excellent quality of fruit produced thanks to a season that was warm and dry for Nelson. Excellent concentration of flavours and ripeness levels were reached several weeks earlier than expected, resulting in an early start to harvesting in the second week of March. Fortuitously this meant that when more than 200mm of rain hit the upper South Island mid-April our fruit was now juice, happily fermenting in the winery.
Four of our Estate vineyards are represented in this wine. All are on the stony Waimea Plains. Individual parcels of different clones of Pinot were harvested and processed with minimum crushing of the berries. The musts were then held at 10°C for a cold soak period of 5-10 days with the aim of extracting fruit characters and colour from the skins. The separate parcels were then fermented, yeast strains chosen to enhance specific clonal characters. During vigorous ferment the vats were pumped over twice a day to aid in extraction from the skins and aerate the ferment.
Once dry the wines spent time soaking on the skins and were tasted daily to ascertain when the tannin structure was adequate. Once the wines were drained and pressed off skins, they had a short settling time before being racked off gross yeast lees and put to a barrel to undergo malolactic fermentation and maturation. A selection of French Coopers were specifically chosen to help build the perfume, flavours and texture of this wine while still respecting the delicate character of our Pinot off the Plains.
After ten months in barrel the wines and individual barrels were assessed and our best blend assembled. The wine was then carefully prepared with a minimum of intervention for bottling March 2015.