Martinborough sits in a perfect Pinot Noir pocket on the lower North Island. To the west of Martinborough is the Rimutaka Mountain ranges, protecting the region from the westerly rains. To the southeast lies the Aorangi Range and due east are the foothills leading up the coast of the North Island. There is, however, some exposure to the cold southerlies coming up through Palliser Bay in the spring that limit flowering and result in low yielding vines producing fruit of high intensity.
This single vineyard wine was produced from a dry farmed block with a unique soil structure for Martinborough. Slightly more elevated than the typical river terrace soils than most of Martinborough,
this vineyard has great exposure with a northeast aspect. The vines are planted in 100% Dijon clones of 667, 777, 5, 114 and 115, half of which are planted on their own rootsock. The vineyard is maintained organically with no weedsprays or pesticides.
The fruit was picked by clones over the course of two weeks and fermented separately. Light, gentle plunging in small fermentation tanks with 10% whole bunches in the mix. The ferments were on skins for 3 to 4 weeks and then pressed gently through a small basket press. They were settled in tanks and then put to barrel where they slowly went through secondary fermentation, finishing in the spring.
Each barrel was evaluated and then chosen for the final blend and bottled the following year in February resulting in 10 months in French barriques with 10% new oak, 20% 2 and 3 year old oak and the balance in neutral oak. The wine was then left in bottle for an additional year before being released.
Intense dark cherry, forest floor, and savory aromatics osculate the nose on first approach with hints of dried vanilla and lightly toasted nuts. A structured front palate turns quickly into luscious, juicy tannins with a lingering suppleness. The finish is dry with hints of spice. After a few breaths the wine opens up to crushed strawberry seeds and more savory notes. The palate evolves into a more creamy and textural wine.
"The palate is concentrated and succulent, delivering velvety mouthfeel and ripe fruit intensity, leading to a superbly long silky finish"
-Sam Kim, Wine Orbit 94 points