MT. DIFFICULTY WINES PIPECLAY TERRACE PINOT NOIR 2010
Mt Difficulty PIPECLAY TERRACE Pinot Noir 2010
Excellent concentration, with the hallmarks of a warmer season ? concentrated perfumed ripe
dark fruit mingled with a touch of floral and a splash of savoury spice!
2010 was a nicely odd-ball vintage with warm conditions being over-ruled by ongoing winds
and rapidly changing weather systems. Low initial bunch numbers coupled with the climatic
variability led to yields being down by about 20% on average. A fantastic autumn helped bring
the grapes through their last phase of ripening beautifully. Harvest was the latest we have ever
experienced with first fruit not being picked till the 8th April. The blocks which are typically
early were late, whilst our later blocks were harvested about their normal timeframe, leading
to a very compacted busy vintage.
The grapes for the wines that carry the Mt Difficulty label are subject to two strict criteria: they are managed
under the umbrella of the Mt Difficulty viticultural team and must be sourced from vineyards situated in a very
specific area - the South side of the Kawarau River at Bannockburn. Mt Difficulty Single Vineyard wines are even
more site specific, created to express the terroir from which they come, and thus Mt Difficulty Pipeclay Terrace
Pinot Noir is the essence of the vineyard itself. Pipeclay Terrace vineyard is made up of coarse, drought-prone
Bannockburn soils and Scotland Point soils (impervious heavy clay). Bannockburn soils have a very low water
holding capacity while the opposite is true of the Scotland Point soils, so irrigation systems have been designed
to handle the very different requirements of each soil type. The fruit that contributed to this Pinot Noir comes
from vines planted in 1996, so they were14 years old in 2010.
The fruit for this wine was harvested from Pipeclay Terrace vineyard on the 8th and 15th of April. 0ne third of the
ferments were fully destemmed - the remaining two thirds had 25% whole cluster. The ferments underwent a
period of 10 days pre-fermentation maceration at about 100C. Fermentation took 6 -10 days with a maximum
temperature of 340C. The wine sat on skins for a further 8 -10 days till tasting in harmony and was punched
down once per day during pre-fermentation, twice per day during fermentation and once to twice per day
during post maceration. The wine was settled overnight after pressing, and racked to barrel for 16 months. The
wine underwent malolactic fermentation in the spring and was racked out of barrel the following winter. The
wine was not filtered but was lightly fined with egg whites before bottling in December 2011.
Pipeclay Terrace Pinot Noir is hand crafted in very limited quantities and only released in outstanding vintages.
This vintage is distinctive showing classic Pipeclay Stella cherry and blackberry with a slight spice kick and light
violet florals. The wine displays lovely flow with a perfumed dark berry entry which moves into a rich and
sensuous mid-palate. The wine finishes strongly with a combination of fruit and finely grained structural tannin.
It’s an extremely well balanced and graceful wine.
Mt Difficulty Pipeclay Terrace Pinot Noir will improve for 10 -15 years given optimal cellaring conditions.
Residual sugar: Nil