2011 Supper Club Pinot Noir
Picked into five very distinct lots and fermented separately in stainless steel open top fermenters, with 25% whole bunch selection on average, for texture and enhanced tannin characters. Indigenous yeast was used to ferment the wines to dryness and the wines were hand plunged three times a day.
The wines spent a total of 25 days on skins, to extract structure, colour, aromatics and finesse. They were then gently drained and pressed to 225 litre french oak barriques of which 20% were new 3 year air dried French oak and the remainder being a combination of first, second, third and fourth fill used barriques. They were then rested and matured for ten months on yeast lees. 100% malolactic fermentation naturally occurred in spring. The wines were then racked and blended before undergoing minimal fining and minimal filtration, then bottling.
With upfront flavours of blackberry, spice, herbs and a subtle oak influence, it has balanced acidity which leads to a velvety, lingering finish, characteristic of the Central Otago Region.
Winemaker: Dean Shaw and Alastair Picton-Warlow
Central Otago Vintage Summary 2011
A mild winter, soils with high moisture and an unseasonably hot dry spring were catalysts for the rampant start to the growing season experienced in Central Otago.
Flowering had finished in some vineyards before summer even began; the infamous nor-wester that funnels through this mountain and valley landscape conspicuously attenuated for this time of year.
Fruit set was correspondingly excellent across all sub-regions, promoting high berry numbers and the likelihood of tight bunches. These idyllic conditions continued through until mid December, and just when growers were breathing a sigh of relief, having finally caught up, two months of rain deluged over the week of Christmas. Coupled with milder temperatures and higher humidity, disease pressure was set to escalate, necessitating vigilance and active canopy management.
The remainder of summer saw warmer weather, tempered by intermittent periods of rain at just the right times to antagonise viticulturists and excite fungal populations. The first signs of veraison came at the end of January, with most of the region well coloured come the first week of February. A lot of fruit was dropped to remove disease pressure and even up ripeness.
A stable autumn gave us some scope to pick at our leisure, which allowed us to fashion some wines of high lifted fruit aromatics and strong mineral drive. Certainly the wines are very elegant and whilst the fruit component of the wines will make them very appealing in their youth, they will certainly reward those prepared to wait as the 2001 and 2005 vintages also did.