LIBRARY RELEASE Mt Difficulty Target Gully Pinot Noir 2009
This vintage shows concentrated red cherry and blueberry fruits alongside a distinctive liquorice / anise spice character. The wine displays a strong red fruit of the forest entry, which moves into a rich and sensuous mid-palate then finishes strongly with a combination of fruit and finely grained tannin.
Mt Difficulty Target Gully Pinot Noir will improve for 10-15 years given optimal cellaring conditions.
2009 was a vintage with excellent flavour definition – intense cool varietal flavours with excellent concentration and typically high acidity providing lovely focus on the finish.
A cooler vintage; the volume of the harvest was down 15% on average. Climatically there was a good start to the season, but December was slightly wetter than usual which reduced bunch numbers. A typically turbulent January was followed by a cooler, wet February which slowed down vine growth. Good canopy management was essential, with canopies left as open as possible to minimise the effects of the weather. Central Otago provided its usual long, fine, warm autumn but a week into vintage a cold spell brought on a cold response in the vines. This hurried the ripening process considerably, shortening and intensifying the season.
The grapes for the wines that carry the Mt Difficulty label are subject to two strict criteria: they are managed under the umbrella of the Mt Difficulty viticultural team and must be sourced from vineyards situated in a very specific area - the South side of the Kawarau River at Bannockburn. Mt Difficulty Single Vineyard wines are even more site specific, created to express the terroir from which they come, and thus Mt Difficulty Target Gully Pinot Noir is the essence of the vineyard itself. Target Gully is comprised of Lochar soils and man-made Bannockburn soils. Lochar soils are well-drained, high pH soils ideally suited to viticulture with about 30cm of top soil over fine to moderately coarse gravels. Bannockburn soils were formed from sluicing operations during early gold mining activities and are drought-prone due to the coarseness of the base material. Target Gully has a variety of Pinot Noir clones – 5, 6, 10/5 and 777.
The fruit for this wine was harvested from our Target Gully vineyard on the 20th and the 21st of April. This block is higher in elevation than our other blocks and we tend to pick it fairly late in the season, this extra ‘hang time’ seems to give more character and density to the resultant wine. All of the ferments had 25% whole clusters incorporated into the ferment; the different components underwent a period of 9 days pre-fermentation maceration at 8-12oC. Fermentation took a period of 7 days with a maximum temperature of 33oC, the wine sat on skins for a further 9 days till tasting in balance. The wine was punched down once per day during pre-fermentation; three times per day during fermentation and once to twice per day during post maceration. The wine was settled overnight after pressing and racked to barrel where it stayed for 16 months. The wine underwent malolactic fermentation in the spring and was racked out of barrel the following winter. The wine was lightly egg white fined and bottled in November 2010.
|Alc. 14%||T/A 5.3 gL-1||pH 3.6|