This was our coolest summer in the 30 years we have been growing grapes at Peg Bay but it was followed by a lingering dry autumn. By leaving the grapes on the vines until later in the season we achieved a beautiful spectrum of ripe varietal flavours . Mother nature came to the party by naturally moderating crop levels which has contributed to good fruit concentration and body in the wine.
The Vineyard and the Vines
We have about a dozen different clones of pinot noir .With our original plantings these grow intermingled throughout the various blocks. The vines, many of which are nearly 30 years old and on their own roots, grow on a series of north facing, gradually descending terraces. While the site is warm during the day it is cool at night. This allows the fruit to ripen fully but slowly and to retain good acid levels of natural acidity. The drainage is helped by stones intermingled with the soil.
Harvest and Winemaking
We use traditional Burgundian winemaking methods. We picked the various blocks at different stages during April , depending on their maturity We are looking for ripe fruit to give satisfyingly ripe smooth tannins whilst still retaining an element of vibrancy & red fruit so the wine is always refreshing . Most of the grapes were destemed and put into small fermenting vats, retaining as many whole berries as possible. Ten percent of whole bunches were also added to these vats. They were kept cool over the next few days to help extract the soft, silky tannins from the pinot noir skins. After this time the grapes warmed enough to start fermenting.
During fermentation the floating cap of grape skins was twice daily gently pushed back under the wine by hand to keep it moist and healthy. When the fermentation finished the vats were sealed and the grape remnants were left to steep in the wine for up to a week to help extract a different range of tannins that add structure and depth. The duration of this period was determined by daily tasting. Subsequently the wine was gently pressed off and put into artiasan Burgundian barriques (about 40 % new) from selected artisan Burgundian coopers.
In the springtime after harvest, when the weather warmed, the wine underwent malo-lactic (secondary) fermentation. Both this and the original fermentation phase were completely natural and without added micro-organisms. After maturing for 18 months in these barriques, we selected those which we felt best typified the vintage and our terroir to produce this wine. As usual, these came mainly from our oldest vines.
On release the wine is a bright ruby colour. Its generous aromas and flavours dark cherries, blackberries, raspberries and mulberries, suffused with chocolate mocha and spice. There is an underlying savoury character, suggesting grilled meats and mushrooms with a hint of black olive tapenade. It is seductively light on entry but rapidly expands on the palate to become rich and mouth filling, while retaining elegance and poise. Silky tannins help draw out its lingering aftertaste.
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