Mt Difficulty Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2016
As our vineyards are ageing we are starting to see additional complexity emerging each vintage, 2016 produced a Pinot Noir focused on earthy savouriness; mocha notes, and sweet brown spice elements overlaid earthy dark cherry. The wine displays line length and structural integrity. Savoury dark cherry notes alongside violet florals introduce the wine, this move into a linear elegant mid palate, out of which rise fine elegant textural tannins. Cherry notes frame the finish.
Mt Difficulty Bannockburn Pinot Noir will improve for 10-15 years given optimal vintage and cellaring conditions.
Our winter was dry so we came into the season with low soil moisture, October was significantly warmer than average leading to early bud burst, November carried this warm dry start on and whilst we had a small amount of rainfall leading into December it too was largely drier than normal. This led to an early and successful flowering. January was unseasonably changeable, whilst we had some rain it was the wind and changeability that really influenced growing conditions, delaying the onset of veraison. February cracked on with some super warm and mostly dry conditions outside of one large rainfall event late in the month. March was again unseasonably changeable and overcast with small rain events occurring through the month. Finally, the sun returned in April, along with more settled, warm weather. The variability and overcast days delayed the onset of picking. The vintage was very compact; with everything being harvested over a 24 day period.
The changeable season lead to lower than average yields of 5.0-5.5 T/Ha. Picking decisions were tricky with the key focus being phenolic ripeness. We started harvesting our Pinot Noir on the 4th April and continued through to April 24th. Where possible we try to co-ferment different clonal lots from the same vineyard, while vineyards are kept separate. Around three quarters of our ferments were de-stemmed only; the remaining quarter contained 20-30% whole clusters. The must underwent 8-9 days of cold maceration, being hand plunged once daily. The ferments were heated after this and all fermented with indigenous yeasts. The ferments lasted for an average of 8-10 days during which time they were hand plunged once to twice daily with the temperature peaking at 30°C. The wine stayed on skins for a further 7-9 days post-dryness, and was plunged occasionally with increasing ease. When the wine tasted in harmony it was pressed off to barrel where it resided on full lees for 12 months. It underwent malolactic fermentation in the spring, was racked out of barrel in late autumn and filtered but not fined prior to bottling.
Alc. 13.9% T/A 4.8 gL-1 pH 3.68
Accolades & Awards
Review by Bob Campbell, MW
92 Points ****
Soft, supple and delicately fruity pinot noir with dark cherry, anise, spice, thyme and smoky oak flavours. Fresh acidity adds energy to this satisfyingly dry wine that's approachable now but should develop in the medium-term. (20/2/2018)
30 Sept 2018
"Distinctive, with spicy nutmeg and silky cherry flavors that are juicy and bright, set on a supple frame and becoming more intriguing on the finish, where white pepper and dried rose petal notes emerge."
International Wine & Spirit Competition
Cameron Douglas, Master Sommelier
4 August 2018
"Vibrant, fruity, varietal and focused bouquet showing off aromas of dark cherry and dried raspberry, toasty oak spices with clove, bacon and vanilla moments. Dry, firm, youthful and varietal. Flavours of red berry fruits, plum and dark raspberry; wood spices, fine to moderate tannins, medium+ acidity, great length and potential. Decant for service, best from 2020 through 2026."