The Abyss Pinot Noir 2010


Our distinctive hillside vineyard above the Waihopai Valley was planted in 2000 with a European approach, close vine spacing and high density (approx. 5,000/ha). We manage the vineyard according to principles of biodynamics and organics. Our highest block, The Abyss is home to our oldest vines and has an ideal sloping exposure to the east. 2010 was an excellent growing season; a slow onset to flowering meant that crops were limited and resulted in very uniform bunch and berry size. Warm, very dry weather throughout January and February ensured sufficient ‘stress’ in the vineyard, allowing for good tannin polymerization and lignifications of seeds. An Indian summer resulted in lower acidity than previous years. At a low 30hl/ha yield, The Abyss was picked on 29th March, 2nd and 3rd April.


Downloadable Tasting Notes

Churton The Abyss Pinot Noir 2010 – tasting note


To prevent crushing of fruit, our handpicked grapes are transported in small 12kg bins to the winery. Bunches are hand sorted then de-stemmed to retain maximum whole berries. Fruit is again sorted to ensure only clean fruit with no fragments of stem enter the tank. A cool soak of seven days is followed by the fast warm indigenous yeast ferment of five days. The 2010 Abyss enjoyed a warm 18 day post ferment maceration prior to free run transfer to French barrels (40% new). After natural malolactic fermentation in Spring, the best barrels were selected, racked once, blended and then returned to barrel for a further 16 months prior to bottling without filtration.


Wine Analysis

Alcohol 13%
Titratable Acidity 3.8 g/l
Residual grape sugar <1 g/l
pH 3.8

Tasting Notes

Complex and deep, our 2010 Abyss exhibits aromatic musk rose with an elegant fruit core of dark cherries layered with elements of spice, savouriness and classic Churton earthiness. It’s a poised, delicate wine that unfolds layers of flavour with a long structured finish and fine savoury tannins.



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