The ripening period in 2018 started out dry and warm before changing in early Feb to give us a lovely cool spell over the final three weeks to harvest. Not a day over 30 degrees during this critical phase for developing flavour and our coveted cool nights keeping that natural acidity right up where we like it. As always we were fanatical about the picking date. Pinot noir is such a delicate variety that it has to be picked when just ripe – not a day later – if you want that intoxicating perfume coupled with tension on the palate that only this variety can deliver. Once picked, we ferment the beautiful berries using only the natural yeasts that settle on their skin in the vineyard and expose the juice to just enough oxygen to complete maturation without speeding up the ageing process. Finally, we gravity-feed the wine into bottle – no pumps, fining or filtration – ensuring nothing is taken away from the purity of the wine before sealing it in its time capsule under natural cork.
The result is a Pinot noir that breathes, coming to life with air and stimulating all your senses as you work your way through the bottle.
There’s a lovely range of light and dark berries on the nose and palate. Slightly shy on opening (a sign of good ageing potential) but five or 10 minutes to take a few deep breaths and compose itself and the brighter red fruits of raspberries and strawberries start to speak confidently from the glass to a background of dried herbal notes. This is pure, clean Pinot with beautiful clarity and the tension is palpable. You feel like you’re walking a tightrope drinking this wine. Just as you start to relax the rope tightens and demands your attention again. You know you’ll never fall, but there’s something about this wine that pushes you in and out of your comfort zone. An exhilarating quality unique to Pinot when farmed well, picked at the right time and handled gently in the cellar.