Following an average rainfall and relatively warm winter, it was again the spring weather leading up to flowering which caused issues. October was our third wettest on record (96mm v 62mm average) and November saw our second coldest maximum and minimum temperatures (19.3° v 20.9°, 9.6° v 10.9°), consequently the budburst interval (budburst-flowering) was our longest ever – 87 days v an average of 75 days – and flowering was our latest ever (5 December v our 21 November average). In the end, due to the excellent February and March, hang time (budburst- harvest) was average – 205 days v an average of 204 days – and harvest date was close to average – 1 April v an average of 29 March. Yields are down because of the problems around flowering but summer and early autumn saw long, slow ripening – perfect for our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Vineyards :: Clones
Wallis (33%), McCutcheon (32%), Spedding (20%), Judd (15%) :: MV6 (47%), 777 (33%), 115 (15%), 667 (5%)
Harvest date :: Yield
Hand picked 29 March-6 April 2017 :: 2.3 tonnes/ha (0.9 t/acre, ~13.8hl/ha)
Brix :: pH :: TA
22.2-23.6° (12.3-13.1° Baumé) :: 3.57-3.78 :: 6.3-7.6 g/l
Grapes hand-harvested late March-early April. Whole bunches varied with different parcels between 0-10% with the destemmed portion all whole berries, and transferred to a mix of 5 tonne concrete and 1 tonne stainless steel tanks. Held cold for a few days to delay start of indigenous yeast ferment which then typically runs for 25-30 days. Cap management by pump over with some plunging towards the end of the ferment. Following pressing, the wine was transferred to 25% new 228 litre French oak barrels for 11 months. Natural 100% malolactic fermentation before bottling unfined and with minimal filtration.
Sandro Mosele, Martin Spedding
Aging :: Oak
11 months :: 25% new 228 litre French oak barrels (medium toast; very tight grain; François Frères)
Dry (0.26 g/l)
Finished pH :: TA
3.66 :: 5.6 g/l
12.5% (7.4 standard drinks/750ml bottle)
901 dozen :: bottled 19 February 2018 :: screwcap
While the Down the Hill has all the power, the cooler, later picked vineyards in the higher reaches of the Peninsula give this an extra layer of spice. Understated oak, sappy red cherry fruit and then quite serious tannins. It’s not a big wine by any stretch, but long and with an unmissable density.
Andrew Graham [February 2019, commissioned by TMBT]
Food :: Temperature
Game meats can be cliché with Pinot Noir, but no doubting this would work well with a roast quail with white pepper. Serve at 14–17°C.