Two Rivers Awatere Selection Pinot Noir 2011, Malborough, New Zealand

Drunk October 2013

The winery

David Clouston is originally from Marlborough, and after 22 vintages abroad from Oregon to Chile, Corsica to Alsace, he returned home and set about exploring the valleys and diverse terroirs of Marlborough. The main production is the Sauvignon made from fruit from both the Awatere and Wairau river valleys, whence the 'Two Rivers of Marlborough' name, but his hillside Pinot Noir is showing great potential.

The wine

Sourced from Richmond Brook and Seddon vineyards in the Awatere with 10% from Brancott in the Wairau. These two north facing, low yielding vineyards are at an elevation of up to 1000 feet. 

The grapes were hand-picked and gently de-stemmed before undergoing fermentation by naturally occurring wild yeasts. 5% whole bunch clusters were added to the ferment for an increased lift in aromatics and structure. The resulting wine was aged in both new and seasoned French barrels for 11 months with intermittent stirring of the malolactic lees for increased palate weight and mouthfeel. The wine was unfiltered and unfined.

This is a ruby coloured red with typical New Zealand Pinot Noir aroma of fruit and earthy spices. The palate is medium bodied, blackcurrants, cherry and spice on the finish. Not as intense and complex as some NZ Pinot's but very rewarding and an excellent example of what  a Malborough micro-climate can offer in terms of this grape.