Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009


Fruit was sourced from our vineyard above the Waihopai Valley. The vineyard lies on a loess outcrop of the Southern Marlborough hills at 200m above sea level with a very favourable North Easterly aspect. Pinot vines were first planted in 2000 with a European approach, close vine spacing and high density (approx 5,000/ha) using a wide variety of clones. We run the vineyard using a biodynamic philosophy and are also in organic conversion. The focus is enhancing the soil structure and microbiology and encouraging vine health through making compost and applying the biodynamic preparations. We work with the vines growth cycles and natural rhythms to achieve the best quality of fruit and truest expression of our vineyard site.

2009 was a good growing season with a cool spring and even flowering in the vines. This led to moderate yields only, on average 37hl/ha. The end of summer was wetter than usual which caused some concern about rot however the 4 weeks prior to vintage was perfect. We started picking Pinot Noir on 28th March in Dog’s Leg block, a fruit day by the biodynamic calendar.


Downloadable Tasting Notes

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The fruit was all hand picked. We had a little disease pressure in our first pick so this was rigorously sorted in the vineyard and then again in the winery. The later picks were all exceptionally clean and wonderfully balanced. The resulting musts had excellent balance of sugar and acid with very good tannin maturity at around 24Brix. This was the most stable wine in terms of colour, development and acidity that we have ever made at Churton; we attribute this to our biodynamic approach.

The whole bunches were de-stemmed and fruit fed by gravity to open fermenters. Each vineyard parcel of grapes is kept separate; however each block is multi clonal. We regard this as important for complexity and integration. The wines were cool soaked for about 7 days prior to fermentation. Alcoholic fermentation was with natural indigenous yeast and was very rapid and warm. Following fermentation the wine was macerated warm on skins for up to three 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, 20% new. It 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 13.6%
Titratable Acidity 5.2g/l
Residual grape sugar
pH 3.75

Tasting Notes

A complex wine that shows intense dry musky rose like perfume combined with savoury earth and spice. The wine is full flavoured with silkiness through the palate and fine grained tannins with a long finish of earthy and black cherry fruit.



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