The Wines

2012 Delta Pinot Noir

2012 Delta Pinot Noir

Lifted notes of violet and ripe cherry, with hints of plum and spice. A silky start and a grainy, mineral-rich finish. Juicy but focused.

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 175metres. 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 Hatters Hill making up the balance.

Vinification

A cooler than average flowering meant that 2012 had a very low fruit set. These naturally low yields made for some excellent Pinot Noir. The cool ripening season resulted in a slightly later harvest, which coupled with light crops and small berries produced an aromatic and concentrated 2012 Pinot Noir harvest. The resulting wines have excellent colour and tannin structure with bright lifted fruit.

A mixture of machine harvested and hand-picked fruit was destemmed (95%), but not crushed, into 4-8 tonne open-top fermenters. These were used to balance 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 34C. 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%), 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.