Harvest 2015 was notable across the country for a smaller crop than previous seasons. Just as the growing season got off to a slow start so did the start of harvest. The upshot of the above conditions, and hence the smaller crop, being that we were rewarded with intensely flavoursome fruit.
Five 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. The wines were drained and pressed off skins, then 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 2016.