Mosquito Hill Museum Release Pinot Noir 2011 (RRP $31 WM $22.90)

Growing and Ripening Season
The longest (because the coolest) growing season in the twenty years since the vineyard was established.

Hand picking took place in two tranches; the first being at the beginning of May and the second in mid May. Yield was 53Hl /Ha (2.8 tonnes / acre).

70% of the fruit was destemmed into open fermentation bins and 30% went into open bins for whole bunch fermentation.

The crushed fruit was inoculated and wild fermentation commenced in the whole bunch bins after five days pre-fermentation maceration. Once fermentation was established these bins were inoculated also.

After completion of fermentation the skins were air bag pressed and the wine run into French oak barriques of which 25% were new. Malolactic fermentation occurred with natural yeast and the wine was then sulphured and left on its lees for twelve months.

All 37 barrels were assessed, and a separate cuvee was made using 7 of the barrels and the remaining barrels were blended in a stainless steel tank.

Bottling was undertaken without fining or filtration.

Finished Wine
This wines has a strong red cherry aroma and is moderately light in colour. It has abundant tannin producing a pleasing structure. It’s flavour is in the red cherry end of the spectrum. The alcohol content is 13.2%. Because of its excellent balance we think it will be a very long lived wine.

General Comments
This wine and its sister wine, the 7 Barrels were made in our new onsite winery at Mosquito Hill, by Mike Waller who is the winemaker at one of the most prestigious Pinot Noir wineries in the United States, Calera. The owner of Calera is Josh Jensen about whom a book was written (‘The Heartbreak Grape’) concerning his quest to find the perfect site for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Mike introduced whole bunch fermentation to the winemaking process at Mosquito Hill. At Calera 100% whole bunch is used, as at Romaneé Conti, among other prestigious wineries. So far we haven’t quite embraced it to that degree; although the proportions of whole bunch we use is increasing and currently stands at about 30%. Both of the 2011 Pinots exhibit what we are aiming for, ie power without weight.

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