PART THREE: PINOT NOIR
This was not the easiest season to grow grapes, the winter seemed to go on forever. The late start meant we had a shorter growing season and that the harvest was always going to be much later than previous years. This presented a few issues with the reds, most notably physiological development and also grape health, with the longer the grapes stayed on the vines the more risk of bad weather having a negative effect. One super positive from this year though was the acidity levels, meaning that this is the first year when adding acid to the Pinot noir was not required. We had made some changes to our farming this season to try to retain more acidity, by having a more open canopy very early in the season and leaving a little bit more fruit on the vines. As it turns out the year had naturally high acids so we will need to try again next year to see how much influence we can have acidity levels.
Harvest: 3rd October
Six fermenters, two of with contained approximately 12% whole bunches, I may well have done more had it not been for seriously injuring my thumb during the processing and having to go to hospital, leaving my student helper to proceed alone until my return. Picked on a nice sunny day but very cold, grapes came into the cellar at 7 degrees celsius. Cold maceration for 12 days. Total maceration between 27 and 35 days. These maceration times were quite long for me with Pinot, normally we are around 21-24 days, but this year the tannin development was much slower. Pressed to tank, racked to barrel after 24 hours. At no point was I really excited about these wines, but it is an interesting one as they are showing very well from barrel right now. Super elegant, fruit bomb, nice acidity, and smooth tannins. It will be very interesting to watch these wines develop over the next year.