2013 Matahiwi Estate Holly Pinot Noir, Wairarapa
Matahiwi Estate is a New Zealand wine producer that offers 3 ranges of wine starting from Mt Hector and the Mathiwi Estate wines. The ‘Holly’ range represents their flagship, the finest expression of the producer’s savoir-faire. See further detail in Matahiwi Estate full producer profile.
The fruit for the Holly Pinot Noir is sourced from Matahiwi’s winery homeland, the Wairarapa valley. The wine is a blend of selected vineyards to provide the best possible expression of the estate. Various Pinot Noir clones (667, 5, 777, Abel and 113) are usually assembled, each adding its own characteristics to the final blend.
The vineyard blocks selected for the Holly Pinot Noir receive extra attention during the growing season with leaf plucking and shoot positioning to expose the fruit to maximum sunshine, and ensure further ripeness.
In the winery the different batches of fruit coming from the selected vineyards are processed and fermented separately, using different techniques and yeast strains to further increase complexity. The grapes are cold soaked for five to seven days and then fermented at about 28-32C. The best lots are allowed up to 21 days of post-ferment contact with skins before the grapes are pressed off and malolactic fermentation is completed in stainless steel tank. The wine is matured in French oak barrels (about 35 per cent are new) for 10 months before the final blend is decided.
The Wairapapa Valley arguably produces some of the finest Pinot Noir wines in New Zealand. This particular Pinot does receive some careful attention in the making.
2013 was a particularly good vintage in New Zealand, with warm weather during flowering and a long dry summer with hot days and cool nights. So on paper, this wine has everything on its side.
But how good is this wine eventually?
The answer is in the tasting notes:
Nose: Intense melting pot of aromas, rich, ripe, oaky, and spicy : dark cherry, vanilla, leather, forest floor, caramel, and white pepper. All classic Pinot Noir aroma friends are there in a ripe exuberant style. Tempting.
Palate: After such a complex and rather expressive nose, you expect a dense tannic wine. As soon as you put it in your mouth however, you’re stroke by the smoothness, velvety, almost silky texture on the palate. It’s ripe and rich, rather alcoholic even, but all rounded up deliciously by such delicately-smooth tannins. The complexity noted on the nose is showcased on the palate as well. Ripe dark berries dominated, promptly backed up by the vanilla, mushroom, and spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove). It’s dry, with a touch of sweetness from the ripeness of the fruit. Decent acidity. Mid- to full-bodied for a Pinot.
Overall: A very good rather exuberant Pinot Noir, backed up by a great aromatic complexity and good overall balance.
Drink now and within the next 5 years.