2017 was a great year for growing Pinot noir in South Gippsland. Splatterings of rain throughout the growing and ripening periods ensured the vines didn’t struggle, there were no major heat waves to speak of and the nights were cool, allowing the grapes to retain their natural acidity. The hard graft of the growing season was rewarded come harvest time with case after case of perfectly formed bunches at peak ripeness and pristine berries full of flavour.
We decided to include all the stems in the fermentation process but importantly the berries were gently crushed before going into the vat. We do this to avoid the bubblegum-like flavours you can get with carbonic maceration – when the berries are left whole and ferment within themselves until the skins finally burst under the pressure. We then pressed the juice off the skins before fermentation was completed, when the flavour and tannins were where we wanted them. Including stems in the mix brings a lovely lift to the nose and complexity to the palate but can dominate the flavour profile if the wine is fermented dry before being pressed off its skins and stems.
The wine was then aged for 12 months in small three to four-year-old French oak barriques before being bottled in April 2018 without filtration.
This is the third release of Pinot noir from The Wine Farm and by far our best yet. The nose has a perfume of light red fruits swirling in a tea of rose petals, with layers that keep you going back for another look. And when you do you find it’s changed again, deepening as it takes on more air. The palate is complex in both line and length. It’s immediately obvious you’re drinking Pinot and more importantly you know you’re in South Gippsland with this wine. The soils here are volcanic giving the region’s Pinot noir a distinctive undergrowth/forest floor quality rather than an overly fruity nose and palate. That said this wine has plenty of strawberries and cherries poking their heads through the forest floor. There’s substance and intrigue to this wine, a lovely tannic grip and freshness to the palate that intensifies after opening.