Gibbston Valley China Terrace Pinot Noir 2016
The China Terrace Pinot Noir comes from a high altitude
Bendigo site that balances daytime warmth with nocturnal cool. This and the fine sand, loess and schist based soil, gives clean, pristine fruit of great quality. In the winery, small ferments with various percentages of whole cluster are used. The resulting wine tends to have a red fruited nature, complex and sweet fruited, with a savoury tannin profile.
SINGLE VINEYARD RANGE
Drawing from Gibbston Valley’s most intriguing vineyards, the Single Vineyard range gives full voice to site.
2016 CENTRAL OTAGO GROWING SEASON
Whilst a successive cool fronts brought cool, frosty conditions to the Central Otago spring, the vintage saw generally warm conditions. Flowering was fast and very even, with excellent set. Cool conditions in January 2016 slowed growth, but record temperatures in February hastened development. March and April had sporadic rain events, that elongated ripening, ensuring a long extended opportunity for flavour development. Crop loads were slightly up due largely to even, uniform berry size and bunch weights. China Terrace had very even berry and bunch development and was picked in peak condition.
The China Terrace Vineyard is located in the Bendigo subregion of Central Otago. Gently sloped on the lower edge of a large terrace (named China Terrace), it unfolds Pinot Noir and Chardonnay over some 6 hectares. Being over 320m, its retains a coolness relative to Bendigo’s natural warmth. This and the complex accumulation of loess , clay and schist in its soil, gives wines of fresh, bright complexity. Picking typicaly occurs early to mid April.
Two clones, 667 and 777 were used in a number of small scale ferments, each with a different proportion of whole cluster. Maceration time varies according to the whole cluster proportion; typically this ranges from 14 days (100% whole cluster) to up to 28 days (0-20% whole cluster). After pressing, the wine spends 11 months in barrel (30% new). The wine is assembled, then bottled without fining, filtration or cold stabilisation. The finished wine has 49% whole cluster.
AROMA AND PALATE
Deep red coloured. Serene and calm, the wine is suffused in a lovely earthiness. Garlanded with pretty red fruit aromatics, it opens into a sturdy wine, with typical China Terrace tannins punctuating the palate. Complex and brooding, with many years ahead of it.
Best after some time in bottle. Great in four years and able to be cellared over ten years.