Tasting Note

2012 ‘Wide Open Road’ Pinot Noir

Varieties

100% Pinot Noir

Region

Mount Barker and Porongurup, Great Southern, WA

Pinot Noir is dead sexy. Enigmatic, because it requires the right vineyard sites in cooler regions and is unforgiving of sloppy viticulture. Inspiring, because it does not conform to formulaic winemaking but requires imagination as much as experience. Frustrating as the slightest mistake can have disastrous consequences. When everything comes together the resultant wines are seductive, addictive and memorable.

The Great Southern has some fantastic sites for Pinot Noir. We have chosen 2 sites for the Wide Open Road. The Mount Barker site is the younger and is planted to the 115 clone of Burgundian heritage and highly regarded. The older site is in the Porongurups and was planted in 1994. Yields averaged 3T/ha.

All the fruit was handpicked and chilled before crushing. We used up to 20% whole bunches in various small fermenters, some wild ferments and plunging 3/day during the first part of fermentation. When nearly dry, a selection of German, French and Belgian backpackers used their feet to crush the whole bunches and extend the ferment. Aging in 500L puncheon for 6 months has added complexity and length.

The 2012 Wide Open Road Pinot Noir is an early release style of Pinot Noir owing as much to Cru Beaujolais as to Mercurey. Lifted red cherry, plum, raspberry fruit has nuances of bacon, florals and cardamom. The gorgeous plump palate is like biting a mouthful of raspberry and plum flesh covered with cream. The oak is subtle and the tannins a fine and succulent with a fleshy texture. A difficult wine to put down.

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