2014 Te Muna, Martinborough, Pinot Noir



Hand picked, wild whole bunch fermented, unfined, unfiltered.

Te Muna is an unforgiving place to grow Pinot Noir; bony infertile soils, hard-to-predict spring frosts, insanity inducing wind, clouds of grape hungry birds……

I first tried to shove a spade into the stony soils of Te Muna Road in 1999. The resulting wrist injury confirmed that it was an ideal site for vines – especially Pinot Noir. Circumstance meant we didn’t plant vines on that stony ground.

However, some years later Catherine and Murray Mitchell planted that same site. With great advice and ambition to only grow the best fruit, it is now a vineyard that we are proud to source our Te Muna Pinot Noir. You can’t help but treasure every berry of Pinot Noir that is produced there given the torturous path each bunch took to come to ripe fruition.

Part of this vineyard is planted with a selection of Pinot Noir called Abel clone. The story goes that these vines were sourced from the La Tache vineyard in Burgundy and smuggled into New Zealand. We love the fruit that these vines produce; dark colour, lots of textural tannin, and, often, a gamey earthy quality that sets it apart.

Our part starts with the whole family travelling to Te Muna Road to hand pick. Then a three hour drive north and the whole bunches are tipped directly to the open topped fermenters to ferment. The slow release of juice and grape sugars to the yeast result in a long gradual fermentation. This is helped along by periodic foot-stomping to release more juice from the bunches. Six weeks later we drain and basket press the wine directly to oak barrels. 

After the winter slumber in barrel, spring warmth catalyses a natural Malolactic fermentation.  After a total of ten months in barrel, the wine is racked and bottled without fining or filtration.

This wine is rich and ripe, but is leant freshness by the stem tannin from the whole bunch fermentation. Darkest cherry, aniseed, truffle and some toast aromas jostle for attention. The palate has warmth and weight, yet remains lithe and buoyant due to the positive tannin texture through the long finish. This can be consumed now or cellar for another seven years with confidence.


To order email Emma on emma@easthope.co.nz.

Retail price $49.95, Club Price $44.95