2019 Charteris Central Otago Pinot Noir
With some recent serious changes to the way we operate as a collective species, the human race, and I say this with a degree of cautious optimism, seems to have for a fleeing moment, agreed that climate change it not just a myth but something we need to be thinking about. Governments and Global corporations are at least talking about how we get this craziness sorted by 2050. We, the growers of things, have been living with this minefield for some time now. The variations in vintage conditions throwing new challenges at vignerons seemingly every season. Its like walking through the house at night when the kids have left their Lego spread everywhere. You know there is pain in the darkness, just not when and how severe it will be. If the tender slip of skin on the arch of your foot finds an irregular cluster of 3 blocks in such a way that you lose your balance and end up on your face the damage could be irreparable. The only way to solve this issue is to have the kinder pick up all their Lego, something that could take years of negotiation, requires some personal sacrifice and could result in a war. My interim solution is a trusty and well-loved pair of Birkenstock House boots.
While the last 4 vintages in Central Otago have thrown up nothing but piles of angular Lego clusters of different shapes and sizes, I feel like the Hawkesbury Vineyard has been our faithful pair of Birkenstocks. Gliding through the vicissitudes of vintage variation with a unique blend of style and comfortable texture that leaves a warm glow and a smile on your face, even in the Dark.
After the total exuberance of the uber-ripe and generously proportioned 2018 vintage we return to focused, concentrated, refinement with our 2019 Central Otago Pinot Noir. A challenging vintage which shows how detail and depth can run side by side with great clarity.
From the moment this wine hits the glass it has an air of grace and presence, dark cherries and Mister Lincoln Rose aromatics with subtle spice and a detailed mineral note, incredibly vibrant and dense but perfumed at the same time.
The entry is all cherries, I can’t make up my mind as with which variety but, I want to say it’s a cross between Bing and Morello. Lots of very fine textured tannin too adding structure and substance to the mid palate. There is liquorice spice and the lightest hint of graphite giving complexity. Most importantly though, it has the elegance and refinement we have come expect from our wines.
It was one of those winters where the snow was slow to arrive and when it did it was thin on the ground. While it was cold, precipitation was limited, and snow just didn’t arrive. September had some solid frosts with some good rain coming late in the month filling up the soil profile. The frosty conditions carried into early October then spring leapt into gear with late rains and a steady build up in warmth. With the vines off and running November continued warm with good rains and no frosts. While December was also frost-free short bursts of rain seemingly disturbed Fruit Set enough to result in poor potential crop level. Summer delivered warm conditions and February was particularly dry ensuring that any opportunity for weight gain in the bunches was limited. Then thing got really exciting with some solid rain events through March and some nerve tingling frosts keeping the Helicopter pilots busy. Pesky rain force our hand in mid-April and we picked the Hawkesbury Pinot Noir on the 17th April. On the 19th winter arrived and the rain started, fortunately we were all tucked up in the winery with the fire going and a pint of stout.
- Hawkesbury Vineyard, Wanaka, picked on the 17th April at 22.7 Brix
- 100% UCD5 Clone
- 32% Whole Bunch inclusion with the balance whole berry
- 20% New French oak Barriques with the balance older barriques
- 300 dozen produced
- Single Site, Single Clone, Single Batch