Vintage Summary 2004

We called this season the coldest yet, and it was; for the 2005 was yet to come. Very late spring frosts in mid and late November caused extensive damage across Central Otago but was limited on our vineyards to vines in the lower lying Block 2 (only a small amount of Pinot Noir and mostly Chardonnay and Riesling). But cool seasons suit us, as we have a warm north facing site and the manpower in the vineyard to cosset grapes through the hard times. A wet February did not result in increased berry size and the dry and warm finish to the season gave small berries and wines of excellent intensity and higher acidities. Harvest started on April 13. Yields averaged about 5 tonnes per hectare for Pinot Noir with small berries, always the sign of a highly concentrated vintage. The cool weather seems to have brought about an almost crystalline purity to the fruit in this vintage; a very true expression of Pinot Noir flavours. The tight focus makes it more a Pinot connoisseur's wine over some of the warmer vintages.

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