This single vineyard wine is grown in the ultra-cool Drumborg sub-region of Henty, in south-west Victoria. It is planted in degraded volcanic buckshot topsoil over a permeable cracking red clay base. The vines are VSP trained and grow with moderate vigour. Far enough inland to experience continental-like cool nights, the site is also significantly influenced by the growing season weather patterns and the Great Southern Ocean.
The 2020/2021 growing season was a difficult one in Henty that was punctuated at critical times with highly favourable conditions at budburst, flowering, and during the strangely cool veraison in February. The season was very wet with rain events followed by more rain, cold and grey, then monsoon humidity. Finally, summer arrived just prior to harvest. We suspect this set of conditions will be nigh on impossible to repeat, especially the cold February. However, this suited Pinot Noir’s early ripening habit and the fruit came in with excellent flavour concentration and juicy acidity.
The hand-picked fruit was 100% destemmed and loaded into small open fermenters as whole berries. Indigenous ferment began after 5 days reaching a peak of 28˚C, the resultant wine spent a total of 14 days on skins. Post press the wine was settled hard before it was racked to French oak barriques, 25% new. Indigenous MLF took place in barrel during 10 months maturation, after which the wine was barrel select blended and bottled.
Fruit aromas of red cherry, plum and blueberries work with a dusting of clove-like oak. A highlight of this wine is its graceful core weight that carries from start throughout the long finish. Fine texture provided by the natural tannin and acid structure of the fruit, ensures a savoury balance matched to sweet-fruited Pinot Noir character. Rich and plush, this wine’s shape and line define Pinot Noir from the cool vineyards of the south-west coastal Victorian Henty region. Representing the vineyards warm day and cold night provenance.
"This is a more substantial wine than you would expect of a pinot noir from Henty. Not a bad thing in any way, just an observation. It's built on macerated cherry and rhubarb flavours with fresher/brighter strawberry-like notes contributing, too, and generous splashes of fragrant herbs and floral notes. There's a lot going on, in other words, all of it impressive. It will be fascinating to watch this wine develop."
94 Points Campbell Mattinson - James Halliday Wine Companion
(Published 02 August 2023)
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