Amisfield RKV Pinot Noir 2006
Having such great grapes to work with gave us the latitude to use some interesting traditional winemaking techniques. Firstly the fruit was sorted into different batches by clone and site. In some cases the clones were kept separate and in others we co-fermented to encourage early integration & complexity.
The north face was fermented in large wooden barrels with about 30% whole clusters in order to accentuate the spicy aromatics found in fruit grown on these soils. The remainder was de-stemmed to tank and wild fermented with a smaller proportion of whole bunches. Whole bunch fermentation is powerful magic which must be used conservatively as it has a profound impact on the wine. We use them to add aromatic complexity and extend the fine grained tannins through the palate. Some ferments were allowed to sit on skins for 45 days to allow the very mature fruit tannins to integrate and add dimension to an already extraordinary wine. These parcels were then matured for 15 months in 44% new tight grained Burgundian coopered barriques prior to blending & bottling in October 2007.
At bottling the wine has great depth of color and an aroma of dark fruit, spicy oak and savoury complexity from extended lees contact. The palate is reassuringly tight with masses of sweet ripe fruit underlaid by a wealth of well integrated, silky tannins. This is a wine made to develop in the bottle and will reward many years of careful cellaring. Please decant before serving.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Amisfield was established in 1988 and is a Central Otago based specialist producer of Pinot Noir and aromatic white wines, sourced from fruit grown on their Single Vineyard Estate, situated beneath the glacially sculptured Pisa mountain range.
Vineyards are managed holistically through organic practices focused around nurturing Amisfield’s unique soils, vines and habitats - this combined with a rugged inland location and an extreme semi-continental climate, yields wines of remarkable purity, intensity and vibrancy.
A state-of-the-art purpose built winery is the focal point of the vineyard and is designed to enable winemakers to craft wines with minimal intervention and as naturally as possible.
Home to the globe’s most southerly vineyards, which are cultivated below the 45th parallel, Central Otago is a true one-of-a-kind wine growing region, but not only because of its extreme location.
Central Otago is more dependent on one single variety than any other region in New Zealand—and it isn’t Sauvignon blanc. They don’t even make Sauvignon blanc there.
Pinot Noir claims nearly 75% of the region’s vineyards with Pinot Gris coming in a far second place and Riesling behind it. This is also New Zealand’s only wine region with a continental climate, giving it more diurnal and seasonal temperature shifts than any other.
The subregion of Bannockburn has enjoyed the most success historically but the area’s exceptional growth has moved to the promising regions of Cromwell/Bendigo and Alexandra districts. Central Otago is known for its fruity and full-bodied Pinot noir. With the freedom to experiment here, growers and winemakers are easily exhibiting the area’s great potential.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”