Marlborough Pinot Noir 2005


After a dry winter, we had a relatively cool wet spring that led to a very cool and unusually wet early summer. In the Waihopai Valley, we had more than 120 mm of rain between Christmas Eve and 7th January. This led to a slightly uneven and difficult flowering and subsequently much reduced cropping levels in our Pinot. In our Waihopai Slopes Vineyard we achieved a tiny yield of about 2.5t/ha or 16hl/ha!

The balance of January, February, March and April were very warm and dry with cool evenings and nights. These are ideal conditions for maturing Pinot Noir grapes with maximum aroma intensity and great balance. For the first time we achieved our aim of getting ripe fruit with good tannin maturity at a low alcohol potential. This in part was helped by the very dry conditions exerting stress on the vines prior to veraison. This seems to have the effect of changing the vines’ metabolism so that ripe well polymerised tannins are produced. Think that the function of grapes are to reproduce the plant, one function of tannin is to stop birds eating the grapes before the seeds are ripe as it tastes bitter. If you put the plant under stress then it will hasten the ripening process by changing its tannin metabolism to make softer tannins that allow the grapes to be eaten by birds and thus spread the seeds around.

Grapes were hand picked, completely disease free from 4.4.05 and 7.4.05.


Downloadable Tasting Notes

Download tasting notes (pdf)

Read Reviews


The fruit was hand picked with excellent balance of sugar and acid and very good tannin maturity at 22.5-24 Brix. The whole bunches were de-stemmed to open fermenters. Each vineyard parcel of grapes is kept separate. The wines were cool soaked for 10 days prior to fermentation. Alcoholic fermentation was with natural indigenous yeast and was very rapid and warm. Following fermentation the wine was macerated on skins for up to two weeks with careful assessment of tannin and fruit development. The wine was pressed off, free run and pressings kept separate then settled for 48 hours before being filled to French Oak barrels. 25% new. The wine was aged in barrel for 14 months where it underwent a natural malo-lactic ferment in spring. The wine was racked once and fined with a light egg white fining to help clarify, prior to bottling


Wine Analysis

Alcohol 12.4 %
Titratable Acidity 6.4 g/l
Residual grape sugar
pH 3.51


Bookmark the permalink.