We're passionate about aromatic varieties and particularly those from Alsace so it was only a matter of time until we took on the challenge of Pinot Gris. When we first bought the property here, we replanted a section of the old block with the Berry-Smith clone (also known as Larkham clone) of Pinot Gris. We selected this particular clone especially for its low-cropping, small bunches and small berries as we felt it would deliver the best quality fruit. Pinot Gris is the “sister” of Pinot Noir and shares many of its familial “issues”. It is quite crop sensitive and we feel that to get the best out of it you really have to go the extra mile in the vineyard. So like Pinot Noir it is all shoot-thinned, and bunch thinned and we often remove the bunch shoulders as well. This means that we can get it into the winery with lovely fruit purity as well as concentration.
All fruit for this wine was hand-picked and hand-sorted. The grapes were destemmed, crushed then air bag pressed, some parcels had lengthier skin contact time. Free run and pressings were fermented separately. Fermentaton took place in stainless steel (64%) and old French oak for texture and complexity. The tank portions underwent slow, cool ferments to retain aromatics. Barrel ferment parcels were carried out in large format neutral oak on full lees, lees-stirred regularly. All parcels given time on ferment lees to provide texture and complexity. This wine has not been fined and is suitable for vegans and vegetarians and anyone else who loves authentic, hand-made wines.
In the spring of 2016 we experienced some wet weather over flowering, which adversely affected fruit set and reduced our crops by up to 30%. The later part of the growing season was more a return to the long term average after two very warm seasons in 2015 and 2016. Vintage 2017 had some potential challenges, with the tail end of two cyclones which brought some significant rains to the region. But our careful yield management combined with meticulous canopy management, meant that our vines produced ripe flavours and were ripe before the arrival of the big rain events. We had all our fruit off early and had some of the cleanest fruit we have ever seen. The resultant wines are finer boned than the 2016s with more moderate alcohols but with great purity of fruit, bright aromatics and ripe, juicy acidity. This 2017 Pinot Gris is enjoyable to drink now and will also benefit from careful cellaring for 3-7 years.
This wine is finely structured with great purity & length of flavour and a lovely fleshiness. Lifted aromas of nashi pear, raspberry, red apple and white florals follow on to flavours of the same along with savoury undertones which are balanced by fine, supple texture and lingering minerality. This release is a dry style which has concentration, balance and great texture with layers of flavour. Alcohol 13%; pH 3.35; TA 5.5g/L; RS 4.3g/L. - Anna Flowerday, TWR