2017 Mansion House Bay Marlborough Pinot Noir
Colour / Appearance: Deep garnet, with a purple hue and a bright clarity.
Aroma / Bouquet: Primary ripe plum, raspberry and fresh cherries fruit flavours, with dried herb, cinnamon and nutmeg spice, and the oak char adding savoury notes.
Palate: A medium bodied wine, where the primary red fruit and savoury oak and spice notes are laced onto the fine, silky tannin structure. The bright acidity aids the long, full finish.
Cellaring: Will age well with careful cellaring for 3-4 years.
Food Match: Red meat and game dishes such as venison, duck and rare lamb. Serve: Ambient temperature.
Grape Growing: The budburst timing was slightly later than normal and the vines experienced typical spring like conditions of variable winds and rain. Early varieties such as Pinot Noir flowered in cooler conditions leading to smaller yields. Other varieties had warm, dry conditions over flowering resulting in healthy crop levels. In mid-December the weather became warm and dry. January was notable for strong winds that parched the landscape. The later part of the season recorded lower sunshine hours, resulting in delayed sugar ripeness and a later start to harvest. Standard trellis with balanced pruning to two canes and vertical shoot positioning. Vines are trimmed closely, well tucked, and leaf plucking is minimal. Two vineyard passes of cluster thinking are used to reduce the crop, and ensure evenly ripened and balanced fruit.
Winemaking: The grapes were hand harvested in vineyard batches, and destemmed and lightly crushed to small open-top fermenters. A five to six day cold soak was followed by a rapid fermentation. Some batches were allowed to ferment with indigenous yeast, and some with the selected strains. Fermentations were allowed to peak at 32 °C, and frequent hand-plunging to wet the cap was employed in the early stages of ferment. The wine was drained off early at around 0°Brix, and the skins pressed very lightly. Heavy pressings were treated separately. The wine was matured in French oak barriques for 10 months. 40% of these barriques were new.
Residual Sugar: 1.7 g/L
'Juicy and bright, the wine shows attractive fruit notes of raspberry, cherry and plum together with floral and olive nuances. It is juicy and rounded on the palate, displaying youthful fruit flavours and smooth texture, nicely supported by silky tannins. Friendly and delightfully drinkable. At its best: now to 2020.' Sam Kim, NZ, 87/100 pts 4 stars
2018 The Marlborough Wine Show, Silver