Some Notes on Recent Vintages.
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2014 Pinot Noir
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- The season was hotter than average with a wet spring and average rainfall in summer, which is generally good for the grapes, however, fruit-set was low due to a short dry period before flowering in mid November. The vines were pruned in July, disbudded in October and crown thinning finished in early January. Budburst was early coming in the last week of August, veraison in the middle of January and the grapes were picked on March 8. The new drip irrigation system was used to reduce vine stress in the hot dry periods.
- The grapes were of excellent quality, averaging 24 brix, 0.53% acid and pH 3.7. This year the individual clones were fermented separately until final blending prior to bottling. A few cases of the separate wines were kept for later assessment. All the fermentations went well, and the wine finished with 6.5 g/l of acidity, 14.0% alcohol and a pH of 3.41.
- The wine is more concentrated than most pinots and most of our vintages, it is packed full of flavour and interest but still clearly a Prince Albert. The colour is a brilliant dense ruby. The aromas are sweet raspberry and spicy cherry, cinnamon and allspice. The palate is complex with plums, cinnamon-spiced cherries, some chocolate and vanilla with a savoury finish and great length. As usual we recommend breathing before drinking. If you enjoy the primary fruit flavours, it will be best from 2014 to 2017. If more structure and melding is your thing, it will improve for at least another eight years in the bottle.
- The old irrigation system was replaced with a new system with more drippers per vine and a more even distribution to ensure that all vines are not over stressed in the inevitable dry spells we experience. There are some cases of 2009 still available if anyone has missed out or would like more. Wine is available for cellar door tastings and visits are welcome. Please telephone before you visit.
2009 Pinot Noir
- Flowering was early, beginning in the first week of November, and the first signs of veraison were seen on the 19th January. In general the season was very dry and warm with heat waves in late January and early February causing some crop losses. There was only 163 mm of rain in the growing period and drip irrigation had to be extensively used. Pruning was in early winter, disbudding in October and November, crown thinning in December and the grapes were picked on the 18th and 19th of March, leaving the heat affected grapes in the vineyard.
- The grapes used were of good quality, averaging 22.5 brix, 0.6% acid and pH 3.5. The must was a good colour, the primary and malolactic fermentations went well, and the wine finished with 5.7 g/l of acidity, 13.1% alcohol and a pH of 3.6.
- We believe this vintage may be our best for at least 10 years. The wine is soft with a deep ruby to garnet colour. The nose has hints of cherries, nutmeg, cinnamon and star anise. The palate has beautiful cherry fruit, rhubarb, the spices and cloves. As usual we recommend breathing before drinking. It will improve for at least another three years in the bottle.
- This is our first vintage using soil moisture sensors together with a new fertiliser and composting regime and the second fully bottled under screw cap. New bird netting is also being introduced.
2008 Pinot Noir
- The 2008 vintage saw average rainfall and warm temperatures, overall a big improvement on the previous two years. There was 250 mm of rain in the six month growing period and drip irrigation was only sparingly used. The vines grew vigorously. Pruning was in late winter, crown thinning in December and they were picked on the 7th of March. The yield was 2500 kg, the best since 2004.
- The vintage went well in good weather. The grapes were good quality, picked at 23.5 brix, 0.8% acid and pH 3.3. The must was a good colour and the primary and malolactic fermentations went without mishaps, leaving the wine with 6.4 g/l of acidity, 14.2% alcohol and a pH of 3.4.
- The wine is beautifully fresh with an attractive ruby garnet colour of medium hue. There are aromas of plumbs and nutmeg, lifted by the alcohol with traces of cherry and chocolate. The palate has soft rounded tannins adding texture and a structure which is surrounded by waves of flavours of nutmeg, cinnamon, cashews, fleshy plumbs and cherry fruit. If you enjoy the primary fruit flavours of Pinot, this vintage is very approachable now, but if you prefer some bottle age and melding of the fruits, we recommend cellaring for 4 – 8 years.
- The irrigation system has been upgraded to give more even watering and cover more of each vines root system.
- Contact the Vineyard for details