Pipeclay Terrace Pinot Noir 2013
Pipeclay Terrace Pinot Noir is hand crafted in very limited quantities and only released in outstanding vintages. This vintage shows classic high tone violet florals that are intermingled with Bing black cherry and blackberry notes with an edge of sweet brown spice. The wine displays lovely flow with a dense dark berry entry which moves into a rich and sensuous mid-palate. The wine finishes strongly with a combination of fruit and finely grained slightly edgy structural tannin. It exhibits lovely balanced and an element of grace.
Mt Difficulty Pipeclay Terrace Pinot Noir will improve for 10 -15 years given optimal cellaring conditions.
The growing season in 2013 kicked off with a cool spring. Frosts in early November reduced production from Station Block, at the top of the Cromwell basin, but Bannockburn was untouched. Although the cool spring continued after that, temperatures warmed just before Christmas in time to make for a very successful flowering. January was cooler and wetter than average and then February onwards was very warm and dry. We experienced a protracted veraison (the point at which the grapes stop growing and start to ripen, characterised by colour change) leading to increased variability in ripeness. To counter this we introduced a late colour thin to ensure fruit arrived in optimal condition at harvest. Early autumn returned to more classic settled Central autumnal conditions, and harvest started on the 3rd of April, continuing through until the 3rd of May. It was a normal yielding year, with nice focused acidity and interesting flavour profiles reflecting, to some degree, the variability of the season.
The grapes for the wines that carry the Mt Difficulty label are subject to two strict criteria: they are managed under the umbrella of the Mt Difficulty viticultural team and must be sourced from vineyards situated in a very specific area - the South side of the Kawarau River at Bannockburn. Mt Difficulty Single Vineyard wines are even more site specific, created to express the terroir from which they come, and thus Mt Difficulty Pipeclay Terrace Pinot Noir is the essence of the vineyard itself. Pipeclay Terrace vineyard is made up of coarse, drought-prone Bannockburn soils and Scotland Point soils (impervious heavy clay). Bannockburn soils have a very low water holding capacity while the opposite is true of the Scotland Point soils, so irrigation systems have been designed to handle the very different requirements of each soil type. The fruit that contributed to this Pinot Noir comes from vines planted in 1996, so they were 17 years old in 2013.
The fruit for this wine was harvested from Pipeclay Terrace vineyard on the 3rd and 14th of April. 0ne third of the ferments were fully destemmed - the remaining two thirds had 30% whole cluster. The ferments underwent a period of 10 days pre-fermentation maceration at about 100C. Fermentation took 10-14 days with a maximum temperature of 320C. The wine sat on skins for a further 6 - 8 days till tasting in harmony and was punched down once per day during pre-fermentation, twice per day during fermentation and once per day during post maceration. The wine was settled overnight after pressing, and racked to barrel for 16 months. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation in the spring and was racked out of barrel the following winter. The wine was not filtered or fined before being bottling in December 2014.
|Alc. 14%||T/A 5.4 gL-1||pH 3.67||Residual Sugar <1 gL-1|