Mt Difficulty Pinot Noir Bannockburn 2014

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Bannockburn wines are sourced from vineyards on the South side of the Kawarau River at Bannockburn. The soil types vary from open gravels to heavier clays and are all low in fertility. The majority of grapes in the blend come from earlier plantings which are predominantly clones 5, 6 and 10/5. More recent plantings are a mix of Dijon clones: 113, 115, 667 & 777. A very mild winter kicked the growing season off early. Low levels of wind and a warm November meant that vines got off to a fantastic start. December was initially warm and settled which lead to a compact, successful flowering. The end of December and all of January was cold and wet. Feb.-March was warmer and drier. Interestingly, even though the season finished with a warm April, sugar accumulation slowed and grapes were picked at some of the lowest sugar levels ever. Grapes were harvested March 27th to April 23rd. Where possible, different clonal lots from the same vineyard were co-fermented, & vineyards were kept separate. Around 75% of ferments were de-stemmed; the remaining 25% contained 20-35% whole clusters. The must underwent 8-9 days of cold maceration, & hand plunged once daily. The ferments were heated and fermented with indigenous yeasts for 8-10 days and hand plunged once to twice daily. The wine stayed on skins for 7-9 days post-dryness, and was plunged once daily with increasing ease. When the wine tasted in harmony it was pressed off to barrel where it resided on full lees for 12 months. It underwent malolactic fermentation in the spring, was racked out of barrel in late autumn and filtered prior to bottling.