The colour is classic Pinot; bright, light red. On the nose there is lovely subtle oak combined with red (strawberry) and dark (cherry) fruits and spice. The wine has an even, light to middle-weight palate with good length and balance.
We had good winter rains after a few seasons of below average rainfall. This was a late season: budburst was approximately 2-3 weeks late, and harvest started similarly behind our standard season (we usually start picking Chardonnay in early/ mid February). This year we picked whites in late February/ early March. Unseasonal rains in March threw a spanner in the works somewhat, but luck and good management helped us dodge most of the bullets. Overall this was a very long vintage with moderate yields which tested Joch’s nerves a little more than usual.
Pinot Noir was hand-picked off 25 year old vines from our Braden’s vineyard. Approximately 30% of the fruit was dumped unceremoniously into large plastic bags in half tonne bins to undergo carbonic maceration. This is a process whereby fermentation occurs in a carbon dioxide rich environment actually within the grape itself (the grapes are not crushed as in normal winemaking). This has the net effect of highlighting and accentuating the fresh red fruit characters of the grapes without extracting too much tannin. The rest of the grapes were processed as per the norm; that is crushed and then fermented in small open fermenters. The wine spent some time in large older oak, with a lick of new French oak prior to bottling.
The Age and Sydney Morning Herald 2013 Good Wine Guide by Nick Stock
'McLaren Vale Pinot Noir will get the purists shuddering, but they've made a decent fist of this. The nose has strawberry and raspberry fruits with a layer of tarry, savoury aromas over the top, some gently toasty oak and spice. The palate's pretty forthright, with punchy tannins carrying strawberry fruit flavour straight and true.'
Picking Date: 8th March 2011 and 11th March 2011
pH Level: 3.66
Bottling Date: 22nd November 2011