The fruit for this, our very first Reserve Pinot Noir, was all grown on our Jacksons Road vineyard. Several different Pinot clones were utilised to add complexity; including clones 10/ 5, 114, 115, 667 and 777. The oldest vines are 19 years old. After a perfect growing season the grapes all ripened beautifully and were handpicked over several days in early April as each clone attained optimum ripeness. Only perfectly ripe and clean bunches were selected by the pickers. The average yield was approximately 6 tonnes per hectare.
The bunches were destemmed and the fruit was cold soaked for up to five days, before being hand plunged in open top fermenters. While our whole Pinot harvest was maturing in barrel we regularly tasted every barrel to determine which ones showed the most promise. We eventually settled on our best six barrels, which tended to be newer barrels and tended to contain fruit from our best blocks. These barrels were set aside and kept full after our other Pinot had been bottled. This wine eventually ended up spending almost 15 months in oak, a significant portion new oak, before being bottled on 1 July 2011.
Ruby, carmine and velvet, this wine has a rich dark brooding colour. The aroma is of lovely spicy vanilla bean, white pepper, dark fruits and rich black cherry. It is a powerful and enticing wine at this stage with hints of mint, fresh thyme and mixed herbs. This is a rich, full bodied wine with spice and pepper on the palate, yet with considerable elegance and charm and obvious varietal character. It has impeccable balance, very restrained alcohol, and the promise of enthralling development ahead as a myriad of flavours gradually unfold. Already it finishes with a beautiful lingering and evocative richness. It promises to develop gradually over many years in bottle.
Alcohol: 13.1%, Acidity: 5.8, PH: 3.75, Residual Sugar: 0.
“Good pinot noir ruby, one of the darker ones. Bouquet is fragrant and burgundian, standing slightly apart from the other wines by being more aromatic, both on a trace of mint and more oak, so the floral notes are not so easy to identify. In mouth, it seems a richer and darker wine than the standard label, more black cherry and again a thought of plums like the ’09 Sentiers, the finish a little oaky and acid at this early stage. I imagine this wine cellaring a little longer than the standard 2010 Riverby Pinot, and perhaps ending up the better of the two in five year’s time. Both these 2010 wines show remarkable depth of varietal character for younger-soils Wairau Valley sites, and are among the best so far produced there. Cellar 5 – 12 years. GK 10/11”
Geoff Kelly, October 2011
“Barrel selection – best six barrels with extra oak maturation. Slightly more concentrated and certainly more oaky than the regular label. Probably a better wine but it will need time to strut its stuff. Good value. ”
Bob Campbell, July 2012