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Greystone ‘Vineyard Ferment’ Pinot Noir 2016

06 June,2018

Since 2012, winemaker Dom Maxwell and his team at Greystone Wines in North Canterbury have been investigating the effects of fermenting Pinot Noir grapes in the vineyard where they grow. The basis of this trialling is to attempt to have the wine more expressive of its origin and demonstrate terroir, as well as vintage with greater clarity. Dom presented his methodology and research at the Pinot Noir 2017 conference to a very interested audience. The grapes are picked, destemmed at the winery and returned to the vineyard placing them in a fermenter placed amidst the vines where the fruit came from. The fermentation is left to the indigenous vineyard yeasts, and the fermenters are exposed more to the elements rather than have the protection of a winery building. Dom reports that the fermentation process undergoes a wider range of temperatures, and that the grapes can experience higher levels of maceration, partly through the longer time for the fermentation to go through, or from warm vintage weather.

The Greystone team have been so pleased with the resultant wine that an increasing proportion of vineyard ferment wine is being included in the overall Greystone Pinot Noir. Dom reports the wine is lighter in colour, possesses lifted floral aromas with spice and red fruit characters, and the wine has plenty of structure. My own personal experience is that there appears to be greater layers of complexing savoury aromas and flavours. With the 2016 vintage, Greystone has bottled a Pinot Noir made exclusively from vineyard fermented fruit. The vintage was notable for the warm harvest conditions, so the grapes were given a short 24 hours pre-ferment soak. Here is my review of the wine. www.greystonewines.co.nz


Greystone ‘Vineyard Ferment’ North Canterbury Pinot Noir 2016

Pinot Noir from New Zealand – Canterbury & Waipara


Even, light ruby-red colour, a little pale edged with a touch of garnet. The nose is softly full with gently packed aromas of ripe, soft-red berry fruits harmoniously interwoven with aromas of savoury dark and dried herbs, and earthy complexities, unfolding soft, piquant red floral elements. The aromatics show with finesse. Medium-full bodied, the palate has soft and ethereal flavours of red berry fruit harmoniously interwoven with subtle notes of dark herbs and red florals, along with gentle earthy complexity. This has delicacy and detail, the flavours building to form a rounded core with plenty of presence and substance. The fruit is supported by supple, fine-grained tannin structure with soft, integrated acidity. The flavours carry to a long and sustained finish. This is a harmonious red-fruited Pinot Noir with integrated complexing herb, floral and earthy detail on a supple palate with plenty of presence. Serve with wild duck and pork over the next 5-6 years. Clone 5 fruit from the 0.57 ha ‘Block 7’ site with dense clay soils and sandstone influence, vines 12 y.o., indigenous yeast fermented in-situ, with 20% whole bunches to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 16 months in 3 y.o. oak. 18.5+/20 Jun 2018 RRP $65.00

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