Pinot Noir, as any fan of Sideways will tell you, is a tricky and temperamental grape difficult and delicate both in the growing and the wine-making. But dont despair, or drive your car into a tree (just try getting spare parts for a Saab these days), just twist the cap off one of these rather elegant Pinots from Marlborough. Made from hand-picked grapes this wine is aged in French oak to give a superb balance of summery fruits and smoky undertones. Which makes us think it might just be time to light the barbeque
Ribbonwood is an exciting new initiative from the team at Framingham (Est. 1994); a boutique winery based in Renwick, Marlborough, renowned for the terrific quality of its aromatic varietals. They planted their first Ribbonwood, New Zealand’s tallest native deciduous tree, beside the winery back in 1998. Today numerous trees border the original Ribbonwood Block vineyard. Over the last ten years they have planted in excess of 1,000 native shrubs and trees to enhance both the winery wastewater treatment processes and the biodiversity of the vineyard. More recently, the Ribbonwood packaging was switched to embrace light-weight bottles and recycled cartons, further reducing the carbon footprint. Since vintage 2009 the winery has been accredited for achieving 100% environmentally sustainable vineyard and winery practices
At the heart of Marlborough’s Wairau Valley lies the original Ribbonwood Block. Located just north of the Renwick township on Conders Bend Road, the 15 year old vines are planted on an unusual east-west direction, the resulting shade on the south side of each row produces more herbaceous fruit than other sites in Marlborough. The fruit from this vineyard, and that from carefully selected sites nearby, is essential for producing the expressive aromatic and vibrant fruit flavour components for which Ribbonwood wine has become known.
2010 Ribbonwood Marlborough Pinot Noir is blended from several base wines made from low cropped, well exposed grapes harvested from four different sites around Marlborough’s Wairau Valley. Different clones and soil profiles each contribute to complexity and structure in the finished wine. The fruit was harvested by hand and gently crushed and destemmed into stainless steel open top fermenters in the winery. These musts were held cold for 5-8 days to promote aqueous extraction of fine fruit tannins. Plunging was carried out 3 times per day during fermentation and temperatures were allowed to peak at around 30C. Once fermentation was complete, the wines were drained and pressed from the skins quickly. These wines underwent malolactic fermentation and 10 months maturation in a mixture of new and seasoned French barriques. After maturation, the selected wines were blended, filtered and bottled under screwcap to preserve freshness, flavour and integrity.
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