This wine is indulgence, Jules’s little secret. On the quiet,
she kept aside pockets of fruit showing special promise.
Hand-picked, whole cluster pressed and wild fermented in old
barrels, a very special wine has emerged. The sort to which choirs
of angels would sing Hallelujah except we’ve asked them not to.
Because it’s a secret.
This wine is dark ruby red.
Aromas of blueberries, boysenberries and black olive tapenade are
layered over subtle hints of oak.
This Pinot exhibits wonderfully intense fruit flavours seamlessly
balanced with dense velvety tannins. It will continue to evolve
well over the next five years.
The 2012-2013 growing season was in a word “perfect”. A
summer of endless blue skies, just like the ones Jules recalls as a
child growing up in Marlborough. The season started off with strong
spring growth and as the risk of frost diminished rapidly, the
florets on the vines began to show through in average numbers,
their quantity being subdued by the cold conditions of the previous
year. Weather in late December was warm, dry and settled – perfect
conditions for flowering with the end result being plenty of
nice, fully set bunches of grapes. The summer continued
in the pattern that had begun in spring and the long dry days
rolled on. The lack of cloud cover ensured that the nights remained
cool. This provided great conditions for flavour development and
acid retention in the grapes leading up to harvest. The vintage was
a fast and furious affair with many varieties and vineyards
ripening within days of each other, making for a crazy harvest
The grapes for this Pinot Noir were grown by Garry and Sara Neill
in the beautiful Ballochdale Estate vineyard at the top of
the Awatere Valley. The fruit was 100% hand harvested on
varying dates in mid-April 2013, then destemmed into small open top
fermenters and cold soaked for between 5 and 10 days. The wine was
then wild fermented with indigenous yeast. Gentle hand plunging
during the fermentation ensured gentle extraction of tannins and
colour. The wine was pressed off into French oak barrels at dryness
where a full malolactic fermentation took place, and it was matured
here for 10 months. Just prior to the 2014 vintage, the wine was
taken out of oak, given a light egg white fining and bottled.
RS. <1 g/L
TA. 5.0 g/L
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