The Donaldson Family traces its Kiwi roots back hundreds of years. In keeping with this we have chosen to give our reserve range of wines ancestral names. This TE HAU Pinot Noir is named after our grandfather Henry Te Hau Tapu Nui o Tu Donaldson.
Cold weather during bud burst resulted in lower crop levels, hence no further fruit thinning was carried out. The subsequent warm dry summer served up perfectly ripened small berries full of intense flavour and concentration. Favourable conditions continued into autumn, allowing each variety to be picked at its optimum ripeness.
THE HARVEST AND WINEMAKING
The fruit was sourced from our own Main Divide Te Hau vineyard, planted in Abel clone. Traditional Burgundian winemaking methods were used to make this wine. Once harvested, the grapes were carefully placed into vats, where they were kept cool for the first few days to help extract the soft, silky tannins from the pinot noir skins. After approximately a week, the must started to ferment naturally. During fermentation the skins of the grapes were gently plunged twice daily. When the fermentation finished, the grape remnants were left to steep in the wine for a week to help extract a different range of tannins that add structure and depth. The exact duration of this period was determined by daily tasting. Subsequently the wine was gently pressed off and put into oak barriques, from selected artisan Burgundian coopers. In the summer after harvest, when the weather warmed, the wine underwent a natural malo-lactic (secondary) fermentation. After maturing for 12 months in these barriques, the wine was finally bottled.
Upon release the colour is deep garnet. The bouquet is an enticing potpourri of dark fruit and savoury notes. Cherry, tamarillo, and plum are interwoven with hints of pepper, liquorice, and cinnamon, rafted with wood spice, mushroom and a whisp of leather. In the mouth it is rich and concentrated, with fine grained tannins and refreshing acidity that adds structure and length, setting the stage for a prolonged and luxurious finish. This wine is another classic expression of our Te Hau site, displaying a perfect balance of both fruit weight and savoury complexity.