Wine Maker Notes
Winemakers regularly visited key Pinot Noir vineyards across the Adelaide Hills during the latter stages of ripening, to select high quality Pinot Noir parcels from a diverse range of microclimates. After rapid transport to the winery, a combination of winemaking techniques were applied to achieve a range of different parcels with which to build a layered, complex blend. Some parcels were whole-bunch fermented in small, covered bins (Carbonic Maceration) providing parcels with intense strawberry flavour, while others were processed using a more traditional approach involving de-stemming and crushing to small static fermenters to capture their distinctive gamey fruit flavours. Some parcels were fermented with indigenous yeasts to add further texture and complexity. After pressing off skins the individual parcels were kept separate during maturation in French oak hogsheads in order to preserve the character and personality of each parcel, and to provide a range of blending options. A relatively low proportion of new oak (around 3%) was utilised to support complexity but not dominate the delicate layers of aromatic fruit.
Steady rainfall during the late winter and into early spring helped replenish soil moisture and filled vineyard dams. Budburst for Pinot Noir began in late September, and subsequent cool conditions pushed flowering out into November, which is later than normal. A cooler and wetter than usual summer resulted in slow ripening, with flavour maturity achieved at relatively low sugar levels. Several rain events required very close attention by our growers and viticultural team; the best parcels were from blocks which had been subject to some shoot and bunch thinning, and the extra efforts from these growers produced disease-free fruit with strong varietal fruit profiles identified by our winemakers as being suitable for inclusion in our Reserve Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir blend. As usual, the diverse range of soil types, altitudes and aspects of the Adelaide Hills provided us with an array of base wines from which a complex blend was able to be assembled.