Snake & Herring Wide Open Road Pinot Noir 2017
Pinot Noir is dead sexy. Enigmatic, because it requires the right vineyard sites in cooler regions and is unforgiving of sloppy viticulture. Inspiring, because it does not conform to formulaic winemaking but requires imagination as much as experience. Frustrating, as the slightest mistake can have disastrous consequences. When everything comes together the resultant wines are seductive, addictive and memorable.
The Great Southern has some fantastic sites for Pinot Noir and the 2017 Wide Open Road is 100% single vineyard from our Mount Barker vineyard. There are 2 clones we use: the ubiquitous “droopy” clone so named for its relaxed growing habits and 115 from Dijon, a relatively new clone in WA. The droopy clone is renowned for producing pinot with structure and length, the 115 clone adds aromatics and texture.
The 2017 vintage was cool and wet during the summer, but warmed up in but the summer months quite cool and humid with regular rain events. The Pinot Noir enjoyed the cool summer which resulted in fresh bright fruit with good natural acidity.
The parcels were fermented in 1 and 2-tonne open top tubs and hand plunged. This year we used 100% maceration carbonique on one third the fruit in open fermenters. We used all wild ferment regimes. Aging in 500L puncheons (1/3rd new) for 4 months has added complexity, length and more grey hair to the winemaker.
The 2017 Wide Open Road Pinot Noir is an early release style of Pinot Noir owing as much to Cru Beaujolais as to Mercurey. A bright red hue, the 2017 Wide Open Road is another evolution in the early drinking Pinot Style we are aiming to achieve. Lifted strawberry lozenges, maraschino cherry and stalky complexity lead to a creamy textured palate with fine sappy Pinot tannin. Long and complex, like a Peter Greenaway film.