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    2023 Nikau Farms 'Nikau' Pinot Noir

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    Notes from winemaker, Dane Johns:

    I decided to write the release notes for this year’s wine from scratch instead of updating last years. The main reason being that I feel this 2023 version is so far the pinnacle of what we have been trying to achieve here with these vineyard’s and in particular this wine.

    We moved onto this farm in 2017 and have now had a good 7 years of work and energy gone into the vineyard’s and the rest of the property at large. We have planted 3 orchard blocks, brought in sheep, runner ducks, cattle, pigs and chickens. As well as planted hundreds of native and exotic plants. All to say, we can now start to see the fruits of our labour.

    This progress is no more evident than in the vineyards. Converting both vineyards from spur pruning to cane pruning was a mammoth job in itself. Then beginning the practice of compost tea brewing and application, hand weeding and the selection and further enhancement of under vine and mid row species for more biodiversity.

    But, the biggest thing has been understanding. Getting to know the site and the fruit it produces, it’s intricacies, it’s character, it’s nuances. All things that are only revealed (or noticed) after season upon, season in the vines and in the cellar.
    It’s been (and still is) a steep learning curve but this version of the home block Pinot Noir is by far the most reflective of the work that’s gone in and of the understanding that has been gained.

    It’s no secret that I have a great respect for the Pinot Noir’s of Ganevat. I’ve always admired the juxtaposition of elegance, power and complexity at such low alcohols. Those wines have definitely been an influence in terms of style for me and style-wise it’s taken a bit to figure out how best to try and achieve that from this Nikau site. I think in 2023 though this has been achieved.

    The soils here are mostly a layered bed of sedimentary materials including compressed sandstone, silica, siltstone and mud-clast conglomerate formed over 65 million years ago.

    Effectively ancient sea beds which seem to give the wines a complex minerality and structure.

    We picked exceptionally healthy fruit at a baumé of 11.3 and a TA (titratable acid) of 12.3 The fruit was hand sorted and hand destemmed and then cold soaked for 48 hours so as to start fermentation very slowly. It spent only 6 days in that state where it began ferment and was then pressed to a small stainless steel tank to finish ferment as juice.

    The resulting wine is extremely elegant in structure with a depth and complexity that defies it’s 11% alcohol. It’s fresh, energetic but has so much going on at a such a fine scale.

    I could not be happier with this wine. It’s the culmination of a lot of work and a lot of learning. I think it’s the best wine I’ve put to bottle so far.