The Wines

2010 Delta Hatter's Hill Pinot Noir

2010 Delta Hatter's Hill Pinot Noir

Rich and concentrated. Fragrant aromas of Dawson cherries and ripe plums, integrated with lifted floral notes. A complex palate, complemented by smoky hints from French oak. Elegant tannins lead to a rich flavour that lasts.

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 Hatters Hill making up the balance.

Vinification

The 2010 vintage is considered one of the best for Marlborough Pinot Noir. The 2009/10 season was much cooler than average over the spring, followed by a very dry summer. The cooler temperatures during flowering led to a naturally lighter yield, and this, coupled with the dry warm days and cool nights during ripening meant that our 2010 wines have both good concentration and pretty lifted aromatics.

Fruit was hand-harvested in separate batches then destemmed, but not crushed, into small open-top fermenters. 10% of 'whole bunch' was retained for tannin complexity. These fermenters were used to reduce the amount of alcohol in the resulting wines, which in turn helped to improve balance, eliminating the hot, 'spirity' characters of many new world Pinot Noirs.
After a five day cold-soak to stabilise the colour, fermentation took place at temperatures of up to 34 degrees celcius, with frequent gentle hand-plunging.

The majority of the batches were pressed off skins at the end of fermentation. However, 15% of the tanks were left to soak on the skins for a further week be-fore pressing to enhance the colour and tannin structure.
After settling to remove solids, 50% of the wine was racked to a mixture of new and seasoned French oak barrels 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 ruby red

Nose: Rich and concentrated. Fragrant aromas of dark berries and ripe plums, integrated with lifted notes of violet.

Palate: A complex palate, complemented by smoky hints from French oak. Elegant tannins lead to a rich flavour that lasts.