2018 Pinot Noir, Southern Forest $45.00
One Tonne Projects
Knowing the complexities that making Pinot Noir entails, we took the approach that this wine would require an immense amount of care, attention and patience.
These days the term, ‘Minimum Intervention’ in winemaking is commonly thrown around. Our 2018 Southern Forests Pinot Noir is an expression of what we like to call ‘maximum human intervention’ – hand picked, hand destemmed, hand plunged, wild ferment, foot stomped, no pumps, all gravity, unfined, unfiltered and hand bottled. Sourcing fruit from a cooler climate region combined with the use of up-cycled, older oak has resulted in a wonderful youthful, yet savoury wine that has balanced acidity and restraint.
Tasting Notes ~ Download PDF
With Pinot Noir being one of the fussiest grapes out there to produce, it was almost a given that we would set ourselves the challenge of making a drop worthy to put to our label. After spending time working with Pinot Noir in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, we arrived back in Australia with a thirst to source the best possible Pinot Noir fruit in the south west – which lead us to the cooler Southern Forests region of Manjimup.
Knowing the complexities that making Pinot Noir entails, we took the approach that this wine would require an immense amount of care, attention and patience. In summary these grapes and this wine was hand-picked, hand destemmed, hand plunged, wild ferment, foot stomped, no pumps, all gravity fed, unfined, unfiltered and hand bottled. It is a delicate and joyful expression of Pinot Noir from the particular site we sourced the grapes from – un-adulterated!
2018 was a much better vintage in the Southern Forrest region than the previous vintages for Pinot Noir. We sourced our fruit from Manjimup for this wine, from our mate, Mark Aitkin from Woodgate Wine fame. Mark has a small vineyard on his property which has 30 odd rows of Pinot Noir, which he kindly let us have fruit from 15 rows.
In 2018, Manjimup experienced rainfall and cooler temperatures throughout the winter months leading into spring, which meant powdery mildew required constant monitoring in the vineyard. However, a cool and dry summer and autumn made for pleasant growing conditions for the Pinot Noir, combined with the bumper Mari Blossom which extended through the whole south west region keeping the birds at bay. The grapes were hand-picked in the early hours of the morning of 9 March 2018. Beautiful small berries, giving us a great skin to juice ratio for winemaking.
These days the term, ‘Minimum Intervention’ in winemaking is commonly thrown around. That is always what we strive for, and certainly our philosophy at South by South West. With the 2018 Pinot, we instead like to use the term ‘Maximum human intervention’, as we tried to eliminate the use of machinery throughout the entire process of this wine – which mean more people played important roles in the winemaking process!
Once the grapes arrived back in Margaret River for processing, they were hand-destemmed. De-stemming this way allowed us to sort through each berry and only use the best berries, and it also reduced the maceration, allowing for carbonic maceration in the ferment. Not all grapes were de-stemmed, approximately 20% of whole bunches were also added to capture some phenolics.
We started as the primary ferment as a wild ferment to use the indigenous yeasts from the vineyard and get the character expressions in the wine, but was finished off with a cultured yeast to ensure a clean finish to the fermentation.
The must was hand plunged, four times daily during the primary fermentation, and foot stomped, when it was close to dry and then put in-to up-cycled (old barrels, re-shaved and toasted), lightly toasted French Oak Barriques where it underwent secondary Malolactic fermentation and then aging for seven months.
The wine was racked twice and hand bottled, un-fined and un-filtered. No pumps were used in the making of this wine – it was all gravity fed.
The wine presents vibrantly, with crimson colour.
The nose offers notes of black cherry and sweet spice.
The wine presents with delicate and silky berry fruits such as raspberry and plum on the palate, along with soft spices and a bit of sweetness. The inclusion of 20% whole bunches during the fermentation phase brings moderate, balanced tannins on the front palate. Sourcing fruit from a cooler climate region combined with the use of up-cycled, older oak has resulted in a wonderful youthful, yet savoury wine that has balanced acidity and restraint.
We aim for minimal intervention to let the fruit express itself, yet there are certain things we do need to maintain the quality and integrity of this wine. We’ve added minimal sulphites to stabilise the wine and ensure its shelf life.
Drinking Best2019 - 2024