1999

Neill

Pinot Noir

Vintage and Harvest Notes

1999 was a great growing season. Flowering started on December 10, 1998 and the colour began to change on February 22, 1999. Summer was warm and dry with well over 30 days topping 30° C. There were three short but very cool periods during late autumn. We harvested the crop on May 5 during an unprecedented drought and temperatures 3% above average. The warm summer and long stable autumn, with cool nights near the end of the season, produced fruit of intense ripeness and flavour.

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Aromas of sage, blackberry, raspberry and cherry abound in this excellent Pinot Noir. The palate has a sweet fruit attack lengthening to a warm, rich, concentrated texture and a complex, seductive finish.

Winemaking:

Winemaker Dean Shaw selectively hand-picked the fruit leaving 30% in whole bunches while destemming 70% of the grapes. Dean then divided the harvest into four ferments. He left the uncrushed berries to cold soak for five days to extract the optimal flavour and colour, and fermented the four lots for seven to ten days at a maximum temperature of 33° C. Each lot was then given five to ten days of post-fermentation. Following fermentation, Dean aged the wine in French oak barrels, 30% of which were new and the rest of which were one to two years old. This aging process balances the flavours, adds some soft vanilla tones, and brings out the wine's spicy qualities.

Vineyard manager: Stephen Moffitt

Winemaker: Dean Shaw