Applejack Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2019
Perfumed aromas of green bell pepper and smoky red fruits. Well-structured with great acidity, this single-vineyard Pinot Noir is refined, with complex, savoury tannins and great length.
Meet the maker: Giant Steps
Region: Yarra Valley, Victoria – Australia
Grape(s): Pinot Noir (100%)
13.5% ABV / 750ml / Vegetarian / Vegan
Purchased by Phil Sexton in 2013, the Applejack Vineyard was planted in 1997 by highly respected viticulturist Ray Guerin. Today it is meticulously managed by his son Mark.
The vineyard is situated in the Upper Yarra Valley at higher altitudes of 300 metres above sea level, resulting in cooler growing conditions - ideal for Pinot Noir.
The 12.5 hectare vineyard sits on a dramatic, east-facing slope of grey-brown clay loams, close-planted with seven different Pinot Noir clones.
A cool start to the 2019 season was punctuated by significant rains in December that resulted in very large, healthy, green vineyard canopies.
The final stage of the growing season was warmer than average, which led to accelerated ripening. However, natural acidity across the Pinot blocks remained high when harvest began on 5th March.
The grapes were hand-picked and hand sorted in the winery.
The fruit was chilled overnight to 12°C, before undergoing a cold soak for three to four days.
The Abel clone was destemmed, as it has a loose, pendulous bunch of tight berries; the 114 and 115 clones have tight bunches with soft skins and intense blueberry flavours, so remained as whole bunch. The remaining clones saw a combination of destemming and whole bunch fermentation.
All batches underwent indigenous yeast fermentation in open top oak vats or stainless steel.
The wine was then matured for eight months in tight grain French barriques (25% new, 75% old) before being bottled by gravity, without fining or filtration.