2011 was a typical vintage in Marlborough. Sound growing conditions throughout the season meant that effective canopy and yield management techniques were necessary. Harvest started early and tracked favourably for winemakers and grape growers throughout the region with typical warm days and cool nights locking in flavour leading up to harvest.
The Hawksdrift Pinot noir vineyard has been carefully planted on a small band of heavy clay soil that runs through the property and can only be found in select parts of the lower wairau sub region.
Fruit is hand select harvested off 2 and 3 cane vines for maximum concentration. The fruit is carefully destemmed and processed at the winery.
The ‘must’ is then cold soaked until wild fermentation commences (usually 5 days). A careful hand plunging regimen is used to manage colour, flavour and tannin levels. Once primary ferment is completed the wine is pressed direct to barrel and allowed to mature until the natural process of spring malo-lactic fermentation commences. Further ageing in barrel on heavy lees allows the wine to develop gracefully and to fully integrate the flavours. Ripe cherry and raspberry aromas fill the glass whilst the palate delivers intense red fruit flavours and complexity – enjoy!
Moderately deep, light ruby-red colour, pale on rim. This has a softly full, ethereal, building bouquet of dark red berry and plum fruit, along with spices and savoury game nuances seamlessly melded with earth, oak and cedar notes. Medium-full bodied, soft dark plum, earthy berry and cedary spice flavours feature. Very fine-grained, supple tannins support the fruit, the acidity soft and restrained. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth in flow, revealing a rich amalgam of liquorice and oak, leading to a very long and sustained finish with spicy plum nuances. This is a gentle, plummy and spicy Pinot Noir with richness and a smooth texture. Serve with Middle Eastern fare and slow-cooked red meat dishes over the next 4-5 years. Hand-picked fruit from vines 12-15 y.o. from a single site in the Dillons Point district, destemmed and fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 18 months in seasoned French oak barrels. 140 dozen made.