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Pinot Noir 2018

Neck of the Woods:
Bendigo, Central Otago.

This sexy, understated wine exudes elegance with persistent bright red fruit.

The hand harvested fruit was picked from each vineyard at optimal ripeness which occurred on average one month earlier than normal in 2018.

The lower (warmer) site was harvested first with the two clones co-fermented in one vessel with 20% whole clusters.

The terraced site came a week or so later and was fermented in 2 vessels with 15-25% whole clusters. Including fermentation of about seven days, the average time on skins was 25 days. All three ferments were pressed to 2bar with no press cuts and were settled over night before going to barrel.

The wine underwent full malolactic fermentation and was aged in fine grain french oak barrels (28% new) for around 11 months before all components were blended in preparation for bottling.

Bendigo, Central Otago.

  • Climate: Semi-Continental
  • Clones: 828, Abel, 5, 115
  • Wine Analysis: 3.66 pH, 5.4 gL/TA
  • Oak Percentages: 28%
  • New Coopers Used: Francois Freres, Mercurey, D&J, Ana Selection
  • Time in Barrel: 11 Months
  • Whole Bunch: 23%

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    Both vineyards are in Bendigo — one on the flat river terrace at 230m and the 2nd on sloped Chinaman’s Terrace at 320-380m.

    Soils: Bottom block: young loessial/alluvial soils formed on a river terrace near the Clutha River mapped as Molyneux Shallow sandy loam.

    Top Block: situated on a glacial terrace with fine clay, rock, schist and a deep layer of windblown loess.

    Tasting Notes

    Aromas of plum, dark cherry, red licorice and rosemary on the nose with the addition of raspberry and cassis on the palate. This sexy, understated wine exudes elegance with persistent bright red fruit, fine tannins and enduring freshness. The athletic frame speaks of its “classic” Bendigo origins, yet it’s supple and graceful side show a character less often found in the sub-region. It’s class in a glass!

    Master Abel

    Pioneer of New Zealand Pinot, Respected Customs Officer, Legend.

    We’re inspired by pioneers. By those who aren’t afraid to take risks and do things differently. Who stay true to what they believe. And we dedicate every one of our vintages to a groundbreaking, rule-defying character that followed their passion and forged their own path.

    Back in the 70s, a crafty Kiwi traveller returning from France tried to smuggle in a small cutting of vine. Tucked in his gumboot of all places. Sadly for him, an eager customs officer (and aspiring wine maker) named Malcom Abel confiscated it.

    The cutting had been stolen from the holy grail of Pinot – Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in Burgundy. Abel recognised its significance right away and paid for it to be put through quarantine. A few months later, the cutting was released. Abel planted his prized Pinot clone, and died shortly after. But his legend lives on. The Abel clone, or the gumboot clone as it’s affectionally known, now makes up a large portion of New Zealand’s Pinot Noir.

    Our Pinot Noir owes its very existence to Malcom Abel. And we’re inspired by his willingness to go his own way and take a risk for the sake of making his dream a reality.