FIVE STARS 18.5/20 | Raymond Chan
In an age old tradition, this wine was fermented in large bins in the vineyard rather than taken into the winery for production. This bold and quite risky process allows the wine to be inoculated with wild yeast direct from the vineyard and can be construed as the ultimate expression of terroir - a true sense of place. Medium bodied and with funky earth and whole bunch complexity, this is a delightful expression of good Waipara fruit - harmonious and quite tightly bound with fruit at the red end of the spectrum.
Joelle Thompson writes "The first time winemaker ever Dom Maxwell bottled a Pinot Noir that was fermented in the vineyard (rather than in the winery) was 2013 but that wine was firmly in the experimental category. Three years later, he made the first vineyard ferment Pinot Noir that was destined for commercial release and this new release is the second one. It’s distinctively different Pinot Noir from most, in part because of its pale ruby colour and in part because of its earthier flavours, which are surprisingly medium bodied, given the pale hue of this tasty drop."
It was bottled unfined and unfiltered with a lower than usual dose of sulphur dioxide added only at bottling to prevent oxidation. This tastes spicy, interesting and fresh and, hopefully, has a long life ahead. I plan to find out by cellaring some."
The winery writes "Deep dark plum colour with a nose of cherry and plum. Vineyard elements of spice and blue flowers shine through beautifully into the textural palate of expanding blueberry and ripened plum. Long fine-grained tannins threaded with subtle French oak smoke, support the fruit throughout. Full bodied and perfect for enjoying with food now or cellaring for 8+ years."
Raymond Chan writes "Medium-full bodied, the palate has soft and ethereal flavours of red berry fruit harmoniously interwoven with subtle notes of dark herbs and red florals, along with gentle earthy complexity. This has delicacy and detail, the flavours building to form a rounded core with plenty of presence and substance. The fruit is supported by supple, fine-grained tannin structure with soft, integrated acidity. The flavours carry to a long and sustained finish. This is a harmonious red-fruited Pinot Noir with integrated complexing herb, floral and earthy detail on a supple palate with plenty of presence. Serve with wild duck and pork over the next 5-6 years."