Clos Henri Pinot Noir 2010, Marlborough, New Zealand


Fermented-Grape Favourite

Drunk October 2013, Hakkasan Mayfair, London


The winery

Clos Henri based in Marlborough, New Zealand was begun by the internationally recognised winemaking family of Henri Bourgeois of Sancerre, France.

Domaine Henri Bourgeois was founded by Etienne Henri Bourgeois in 1952, in the village of Chavignol; a village famous for goats cheese. At this early stage, the Bourgeois family had only two acres of vines, along with several hectares of farmland and pastures for goats and cattle. Always an innovator, Henri was among the first in Sancerre to concentrate his efforts into being a full-time vigneron - "wine producer". With help from his family and two young sons. The Bourgeois family now own 120 different vineyards on 80 acres, the largest in the region, to create their Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume.

The Bourgeois New Zealand vineyard was christened "Clos Henri", pronounced "Klo Enrie" for two reasons; first as a homage to the patriarch of the Bourgeois family, Henri and secondly its vineyard of special terroir, or "Clos".

"Clos" is an old French word, representing an ancient custom of delineating a unique vineyard site by enclosing it in a wall or barrier. The Clos Henri site, with its untouched land, three soil types and unique hillsides, is also enclosed and represents the term well.
Marlbrough's South Island climate is colder, drier, sunnier and particularly has more predictable Autumns than the North Island for the growing of grapes making it the premier wine region of New Zealand.
The valley of Wairau where is located Clos Henri has a moderated oceanic climate. The temperatures surplus seldom 24°C in the hottest months and the variations days/nights are marked. The spring frosts are rather rare but there can be frosts at the end of the season before the harvest. The annual
precipitations are 740 mm and are spread out throughout the year, but they can be unforeseeable. The valley has more sun than any other area of New Zealand.
The alluvial grounds of the Wairau and the Awatere Riverbeds and patches of low-vigor clay soils from the nearby Wither Hills, offer conditions ideal for viticulture. The first Clos Henri wines were made in 2003.

The wine

A beautfully complex nose of blackcurant, spices and mocha with a hint of earthiness. This Pinot Noir is rich and robust with ripe tannins and balanced acidity with berries and damson. The finish is very, very long. This is what NZ Pinot is about. Wow! The taste of Burgundy captured in Marlborough, but with a New Zealand twist.