White Haven Pinot Noir
Established in 1994, Whitehaven Wine Company is a small, privately-owned winery located in Blenheim, New Zealand. Whitehaven winemaker Simon Waghorn is focused on producing brilliant, distinctive, award-winning premium Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir from the world renowned Marlborough region of New Zealand.
Located at a premium sites in the Wairau Valley of Marlborough, New Zealand, our Pinot Noir vines are pruned to two canes each and trained along our standard trellis system, in vertical shoot positions. Each vine was cluster thinned twice during the growing season to reduce yield and to ensure even ripening and balanced, concentrated fruit. The vineyards are composed of silty loam soil which ensures proper draining. These sites continue to express purity of fruit and distinctive Pinot Noir varietal characters.
The 2005 growing season in Marlborough was characterized by steady spring conditions that declined during flowering. The result was less fruit on the vine and what developed was generally small berried. A warm dry summer ripened the fruit well, followed by a cool autumn that maintained the flavour intensity of the fruit. The grapes were then hand harvested in the cool of the evening between March 31 and April 20, 2005. Overall there was a high skin to juice ratio which required gentle handling by the winemakers to manage the high tannins and alcohols that were present.
Winemaker: Simon Waghorn
Once hand harvested, the grapes were destemmed, lightly crushed and sent to open-top fermenters. A five-day cold soak was followed by a single pump-over to warm the must, followed by a rapid fermentation. Fermentations were allowed to peak at 32°C, and frequent hand-plunging to wet the cap was employed in the early state of fermentation. The wine was drained off early at around 0°Brix, and the skins pressed very lightly. Heavy pressings were discarded. After a half day of settling to remove the grape sediment, yeasty wine was taken to barrel to complete alcoholic and malolactic fermentations. Occasional stirring of the lees during the maturation period added texture and gaminess to the wine.
Whitehaven Marlborough Pinot Noir 2005 displays vibrant dark red and purple colors. While oak is evident on the nose it is well integrated with lifted fruits. These are dominated by plums and dark cherries overlaid with violets. The palate is packed full of dark fruit with soft tannins and well rounded acids completing the complex structure. The wine will continue to improve over the next three years but can also be enjoyed right after release.
Whitehaven Pinot Noir pairs well with farm raised venison, wild game, roast pork and oily fish such as tuna and salmon.
Varietal Content: 100% Pinot Noir, Clones 667, 777, 5, 114, 10-5 and 115
Grape Source: Wairau and lower Awatere Valleys in Marlborough, NZ