Mt Difficulty Single Vineyard Pipeclay Terrace Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2018
Mt Difficulty Single Vineyard Pipeclay Terrace Pinot Noir 2018 is hand-crafted in very limited quantities and only released in outstanding vintages. The 2018 vintage on the nose has lovely bright lifted violet florals sitting over the top of blackberry and black cherry notes. Supple, dense black berry fruit introduce the wine and then flow with lovely precision through the mid palate. Lithe fine slightly earthy structure elevates above this fruit only for the fruit to re-emerge with violet florals alongside to drive the wine. Floral, perfumed, linear.
Mt Difficulty Pipeclay Terrace Pinot Noir will improve for 10 -15 years given optimal cellaring conditions.
One for the record books, and a vintage of two halves. There was exceptional warmth from September through to late January, before cooling off through February and Autumn. With the warm start we got underway early; this warm settled weather continued through flowering and fruit set. The potential crop was well set, yet small as a result of the cool December in 2016. The vineyards really started to dry out through December and January, with irrigation struggling. With the arrival of February, temperatures plummeted to below average and rainfall was well above average. These cool and wetter-than-average conditions persisted right through harvest. Disease pressure remained low, even with the elevated rainfall, through the finish of the season. The cool, late Summer / Autumn period enabled berry ripening through a cooler period providing ripe fresh characters.
We harvested the Pinot Noir in two picks on the 15th and the 20th March in excellent condition. There is a selection of Dijon clones planted on the vineyard and represented in this wine. We co-fermented all these clonal lots to enhance early integration. One of the fermentors was fully destemmed, whilst we retained 23% whole cluster in the other. This was done to accurately reflect the unique characteristics of the site. The wine underwent either a 5 or 10 day cold soak and was hand plunged once daily; this was followed by a 9-10 day natural fermentation with temperature peaking at 30°C during which time the ferment was plunged once daily. In total, the wine stayed on skins for either 19 or 24 days prior to pressing, overnight settling and then went to barrel for 15 months. The wine went through malolactic fermentation in the spring, was racked to tank the following autumn and bottled, unfiltered and unfined, in November.
Alc. 14.5% pH 3.8 T/A 5.2g/L
Accolades & Awards
- 94 Points, James Suckling NZ Tasting Report 2019