2017 Clairault Cellar Release Pinot Noir
The nature of the 2016 to 2017 vintage is reminiscent of the 2009 growing season, because the amount of accumulated warmth up until early new year was remarkably similar. January temperatures were similar to historical data for the area, in contrast, February and March were a fraction cooler. Those who risked all by waiting for the Indian Summer, were rewarded with tannin ripeness and the retention of the most beautiful fruit perfumes at relatively low sugar levels. The 2017 vintage highlighted the importance of best practice vineyard management, focusing on the basics of open and well solarised canopies, with balanced crop loads, so that the fruit could ripen at a reasonable pace.
The fruit was hand-picked with 33% being kept as whole clusters, and the other 66% de-stemmed on top to promote extraction of spicier flavours and more savoury fruit characters and textures. Fruit was open fermented and punched down 3 times a day. The still fermenting wine was then gently separated from the skins and allowed to finish ferment in Burgundian-style oak barrels, 25% which were new. The wine was then aged in oak for 10 months, after which it was clarified and bottled.
This first release of Pinot Noir is light red with blue hints in colour. The delicate aromas are of raspberries, tea leaves, white pepper and smoked spices with hints of flint and tilled earth. Crystalline red fruit, subtle peppery notes and gun smoke texture support a tight and bristling palate of lithe fruit tannin under a dark and engulfing humic finish.
New release, not yet entered.
Up to 8 years, however we enjoy it for freshness now.