$45 per bottle
The spring of 2013 was frost free giving a good start to the growing season. Good weather over flowering lead to ideal crop levels. Moderate weather patterns persisted for the rest of the season; not too hot or cold, perfect especially for Pinot Noir. Harvest started in the last week of March and had finished within 5 or 6 days, luckily just before a somewhat unusual event in Waipara during harvest; that of many days of rain.
The Cabal Vineyard is situated on the gentle North slopes of the Waipara Valley. The soil is a combination of clay and fragmented limestone. Various clones have been planted; grouped in rows and situated on differing slopes and aspect, thus giving us the opportunity to harvest several different parcels. Fermenting the clones separately allows us to build a wealth of information about each clone and how best to process the fruit in vintages to come.
Traditional winemaking techniques were used; minimal intervention, meaning that the wines practically made themselves with a little guidance and care from the winemaker. Approximately 35% whole bunches were put on the bottom of the fermenter and the rest of the fruit was destemmed giving a combination of whole berries and some slightly crushed berries. Whole bunches gives structure, tannins and flavour; whole berries give abundant generous fruit and perfume; whereas crushed berries results in less
aroma but deeper colour and bigger tannins. This ratio has resulted in
a Pinot with an intense perfume, deep, dark fruit, firm yet silky tannins and overall is full bodied, mouth filling and well structured. All the vats had a cold soak for 5-6 days, natural indigenous yeast completed the fermentation and were plunged 2 times daily with more gentle hand plunging during the post fermentation maceration. The vats were pressed separately and the hard pressings separated. The separate batches
were barrelled down to French barriques, about 25% new. All barrels completed a natural malo-lactic fermentation the following spring/ summer when temperatures warmed. Each barrel was tasted and only the best barrels were selected for the resulting blend. The wines were moved for the first time after 16 months to tank to marry together before bottling. No fining or filtration was used.
Vibrant cherry fruit with an earthy, savoury undertone, reminiscent of being in an underground, chalk cave. This delicious herbal complexity is the result of a high percentage of whole bunches in the ferment. Generous fruit initally on the palate balances the salivating, chalky, mouth coating tannins. Good acid levels also enhance the drinkability of this Pinot and its ageability. A complex style of Pinot Noir showing the abundant fruit
of NZ combined with the robust tannins more typical of a Pinot from Burgundy. The fruit weight and structure of this wine will allow bottle development and ageing for the next 8 to 10 years.