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1999 Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir
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- Closure: Cork
Notes sourced from Cloudy Bay.
Grapes for the 1999 Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir were grown in the Dog Point and Godfrey Road vineyards in the lower Brancott and Fairhall sub-regions, where the soils are typically even and free draining, with some clay content. All vines are trained to the Scott Henry trellis system. The combination of this shoot positioning with shoot and bunch thinning, produced a crop of 7 tonnes/ha.
A warm autumn in 1998 led to a relatively high percentage of fruitful buds in the following spring, but periods of cold, wet weather over flowering resulted in poor berry set and a slight reduction in crop. Generally dry conditions persisted throughout the summer and intermittent rains from January through until April maintained the vines in excellent condition.
Four clones of pinot noir were harvested according to individual ripeness and condition, with the first picked on the 26th of March and the last on the 1st of April. Fruit condition was excellent, averaging 24 brix with good flavour.
All fruit was destemmed into open top stainless steel fermentation tanks with the retention of 10% of the stems. After a cold soaking period of several days the fermentations started with naturally occuring yeast. During the short, hot fermentation, the skins were punched down to extract colour. The batches were drained off, pressed and transferred directly into French oak barrels, 45% of which were new. Malolactic fermentation began in spring and was complete by Christmas. The wine was racked out of barrel and blended prior to bottling at the end of June 2000. The final blend consists of 75% UCD5 (Pommard), 15% UCD6 and 10% AM10/5 with an alcohol of 14%v/v, a pH of 3.50 and an acid of 6.7g/l.
Tasting Notes: The fragrance of ripe cherries and plums is complemented by a rich spiciness in this tantalizing wine. The palate is bursting with sweet flavours of dark fruits and toasty oak. Soft tannins impart an intriguing chalkiness to the texture of the wine and give firmness to the lingering fruity finish.