Fancrest Estate
Pinot Noir
2011

Grown under a certified organic programme (BioGro #5124) on our Estate. This was the first vintage made entirely on the Estate.

The season was influenced by La Nina weather conditions, resulting in a very mild spring, a warm summer with high sunshine hours and a long, lingering autumn. In spite of being dry we had infrequent, but well-spaced showers keeping the vines very happy. It was one of the earliest seasons experienced in the region.
At picking the fruit was in beautiful condition and physiologically ripe.

Hand harvested; 100% destemmed without crushing into open top fermenters, wild ferment helped along only by gentle hand plunging. We basket pressed around 30 days of skin contact. Maturation took place in a selection of quality tight grained French oak barriques (mainly Allier and Tronçaise), 10% new, for 11 months. 

Bottled unfined and unfiltered. Contains no additions and very low levels of sulphites. Bottled under screw-cap in light-weight glass.


Fancrest Estate
Pinot Noir
2012

Grown under a certified organic programme (BioGro #5124) on our Estate. This was the second vintage made entirely on the Estate.

This was one of the cooler summers in the Waipara Valley although it was followed by a lingering dry autumn. The vineyard went through two hail storms in Summer. We hand thinned out all the damaged bunches leaving an unusually small harvest with terrific cool climate varietal flavours with good natural acidity.

Hand harvested; 100% destemmed without crushing into open top fermenters, wild ferment helped along only by gentle hand plunging. We basket pressed immediately 0 brix was achieved. The completion of fermentation and maturation took place in a selection of quality tight grained French oak barriques (mainly Allier and Tronçaise), none new, for 11 months. 

Bottled unfined and unfiltered. Contains no additions and very low levels of sulphites. Bottled under screw-cap in light-weight glass.


Fancrest Estate
Pinot Noir
2010

Grown in conversion to organics (BioGro #5124) on our Estate in. 7 years old vines.  

A dream season... perfect cool climate growing conditions. Bud-burst was earlier than usual, flowering less prolific, and harvest later than usual. A long late summer provided us with an opportunity to get both skin and seed tannins really ripe with great cool climate Pinot Noir flavours.

We harvested 4 tonnes. We avoided the temptation to push young vines, and dropped bunches from slower vines on harder, thinner soils. In the older blocks we still did not take a full crop.

Hand harvesting began on 26 April, and ended on 28 April. The harvest was unusually compact, time-wise... a reflection of the way the vines caught up in the late Indian Summer conditions. 100% destemmed without crushing into open top fermenters. 

Fermentation began naturally, helped along only by gentle hand plunging. We basket pressed after about 23 to 39 days total maceration on the skins. Maturation took place in a selection of quality tight grained French oak barriques (mainly Allier and Tronçaise), about 30% new, for 11 months. 

Bottled unfined and unfiltered. Contains low levels of sulphites. Bottled under screw-cap in light-weight glass.

Needed time to reveal its full potential.  Vibrant juicy red fruit (redcurrant and cherry), and black (plum and black cherry) with finely balanced acidity and subtle oak. Mineral. Silky but powerful tannins. This wine is expected to take on a complex savoury character with floral high tones as is typical for the Estate's wines. Tannin-tartrate crystal sediment expected to develop in the bottle allowing the wine to soften naturally. 

Fancrest Estate
Pinot Noir
2007

Grown biologically on our own Estate. 4 year old vines in their first year of production produced only around 120 cases.

Our sloping terrain allowed us to escape the spring frosts that weren't so kind to others in the valley. December 06 was however extremely cold, giving us a wonderful introduction to cool climate wine-growing. Interrupted flowering resulted in very small, open clusters with tiny berries which ripened well in the warm, dry and settled Autumn.

Hand harvesting began on 4 April 2007, and ended on 27 April. Ripeness was such that the harvest was 90% destemmed without crushing. Natural wild fermentation in a combination of small vats and barrels, was helped along only with gentle hand plunging. We basket pressed after about 16 days maceration on the skins. Maturation took place in a selection of quality tight grained French oak barriques (mainly Allier and Tronçaise and our ultra expensive Dom Laurent Magic Casks), about 60% new, for 11 months. Fined with organic egg whites. Bottled under screw-cap. Released late 2010.

A small but very good vintage. Hints of graphite, earth, incense, and spice over dark berry fruits (cherry and plum) mingle seamlessly with complex floral and savoury notes. Deep colour and good concentration. Continues to develop in the glass till the bottle is empty. Alcohol, acid and oak are in perfect balance making the wine very drinkable on release. Fine-grained, almost chalky, tannin structure, together with juicy fruit sweetness fills the mouth and the senses, and the moderately long finish ensures you enjoy every sip. It has the potential to age gracefully.

Fancrest Estate
Pinot Noir
2008

Grown following organic principles on our own Estate. Second crop off 5 year old vines. 

We escaped harm from the spring frost on 19 October 2007 that devastated many Canterbury and Waipara Valley vineyards. Rain in mid-December caused flowering to become a long drawn-out affair but left the bunch clusters open and with beautiful small berries that concentrated the flavour. The extreme summer drought that followed, made conditions challenging, especially for the youngest vines on the thinnest limestone soils. Drought-breaking rains fell towards the end of February and early March. In the run-up to harvest, the weather cleared but remained cool and overcast.

Hand-harvesting began on 12-13 April (8 days later than in 2007), reflecting the cool Autumn conditions. Interrupted flowering resulted in slightly uneven ripening, and it took both the art, and the science, of the winemaker to pick the moment of "optimal" skin and seed ripeness. Brix at harvest was around 23.2.

100% destemmed and fermented with wild yeast. 20 days of skin contact with very gentle hand plunging and cap washing extracted only the finest grained tannins. Matured in a selection of quality medium- and tight-grained French oak barriques (mainly Allier and Tronçaise and our very special and expensive Dom Laurent Magic Casks), about 30% new, for 11 months. Fined with organic egg whites. Bottled under screw-cap. Released 2010. 

Overall, 2008 delivered a very small vintage but a particularly fine example from what could be considered a cool year in Waipara. The vineyard has expressed the prevailing conditions by producing a lighter, more elegant style than in 2007. Consumers of great Pinot Noirs from Burgundy will tell you that colour hue and density is not a reliable indicator of Pinot Noir quality. This is a wine that is more up front, with enticing aromas of red berries, dark cherries, over subtle layers of earth and spice making for a delightfully complex wine, that opens up in the glass to reveal gorgeous floral notes (rose petal and violets), that are quite typical of our Estate's wines. Despite its apparent lightness, the 2008 has lovely concentration. A moderately long finish, and moderate alcohol and integrated oak are in perfect balance. Fine-grained silky tannins and good acidity ensure it will age gracefully.