The Wines

2010 Delta Pinot Noir

2010 Delta Pinot Noir

After a cool summer, the latter half of the 2010 growing season was warm, dry and very friendly for grape growing. With no disease pressure, the harvest went ahead with zero stress from any climatic factors.

Vineyard

The Delta Farm, on the south side of Marlborough's Wairau Valley, was first established in 1848 and purchased in 2000 by four partners including winemaker Matt Thomson and London-based MW David Gleave. The Farm's low vigour clay soils, rather than the high vigour 'Sauvignon Blanc' loam soils closer to the Wairau River, were identified as perfect for Pinot Noir. The site was planted using the best of the Dijon clones in 2002 and 2003.

The vineyard comprises 32ha of just Pinot Noir. About 25% of the vineyard is on the 'flats', while 75% is on the hills that rise to about 175 metres. The vineyard's clay soil and elevation, plus Marlborough's warm days and cool nights, excellent quality of light and constant breeze make this site ideal for producing top quality Pinot Noir. The Delta label comprises about two thirds of our production, with Hatter's Hill making up the balance.

Vinification

After a cool summer, the latter half of the 2010 growing season was warm, dry and very friendly for grape growing. With no disease pressure, the harvest went ahead with zero stress from any climatic factors. Temperatures over the ripening period of March were well above normal and the vines responded with some lovely ripe fruit flavours, even early in the harvest. Pinot Noir in particular achieved excellent ripeness this Marlborough vintage, even at moderate sugar levels. Colour was dense and fruit flavours looked bright and immediate.

A mixture of machine harvested and hand-picked fruit was destemmed (99%), but not crushed, into 4-8 tonne open-top fermenters. These were used to reduce the amount of alcohol in the resulting wines, improving the balance.

After a four day cold-soak to stabilise the colour, fermentation took place at temperatures of up to 34 degrees Celsius. Twenty percent of the wine was left on skins for a further 14 days post-fermentation maceration before pressing.

The wine was then racked to French oak barrels (33%), of which one third were new, and stainless steel tanks for malolactic fermentation and ageing on light yeast lees. The wine was then blended and bottled after ten months of ageing.

Tasting Note

Colour: Deep red

Nose: Lifted notes of violet and ripe cherry, with hints of plum and spice.

Palate: A silky start and a grainy, mineral-rich finish. Juicy but focused.