Fermented Grape

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Seresin Estate - Rachel, Pinot Noir 2010, Wairau Valley, Malborough, New Zealand

Drunk September 2013

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The Seresin wine estate was founded by Michael Seresin. He was born in Wellington, New Zealand, but left in the 1960s, when sheep, not grapevines, covered the Wairau Plains. He settled in Italy, where he was captivated by Italian food and wine culture, and began his career as a cinematographer. Over time Michael's interest in wine developed into a passion. In the early 1990s after investigating opportunities to start a winery in Italy, he became aware of the quality wines starting to emerge from his homeland. After visiting Marlborough, and falling in love with the Marlborough Sounds, Michael decided to purchase a home there, followed by the purchase of some land in the Wairau Valley, which became Seresin's Home vineyard. Planting of vines began immediately, followed by the importation and planting of Tuscan olive varieties and significant plantings of natives.

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Michael Seresin

Seresin's first vintage was in 1996. In 2000 the Tatou vineyard was purchased, followed a year later by land in the Omaka Valley which has become the Raupo Creek vineyard.

Located in the central pocket of the Wairau Valley, this certified organic and biodynamic 45 hectare vineyard is made up of alluvial, free-draining Waimakariri soils. The land is planted with Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Riesling. Olive groves, orchards, and vegetable gardens are an important part of the vineyard and add to the diversity of the Estate.

This team has largely been assembled in the last seven years, beginning with the arrival in 2006 of winemaker Clive Dougall, who came fresh from a stint as assistant winemaker at Pegasus Bay, and estate manager (or "Farm Manager" as he prefers) Colin Ross. Ross is an import from Australia, where he spent the previous ten years of his career converting Brooklyn Valley Vineyard to biodynamics, before arriving at Seresin to do the same thing.

Assistant winemaker Richard Gabrielsson, a Swedish-born sommelier who came to New Zealand looking for work in the industry, started behind the counter at the winery's cellar door, but was quickly drafted by the winemaking team and has spent the last four years in the cellar with Dougall.

This triumvirate of gentlemen is filled out (or perhaps balanced) by a young woman named Wendy Tillman, who joined the winery in 2008 under the title of Biodynamic Viticulture Practitioner. Tillman has a masters in viticulture from the University of Adelaide, and serves as the conductor of the multivariate regimen both for Seresin, and for a local group of Marlborough winemakers who don't have the luxury of the self-contained farm over which Tillman presides.

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The Seresin Rachel Pinot Noir grapes are hand picked and then hand-sorted before being de-stemmed and cooled. After a pre-fermentation soaking period juice is allowed to warm and fermentation started with wild yeast. During fermentation the caps are hand-plunged daily. The wine is then left to sit on skins for two weeks for post ferment maceration; a total of four weeks is spent in contact with the skins. It was then drained and lightly pressed before being transferred to French barriques, approximately 30% of which were new. The Rachel Pinot Noir went through natural malolactic fermentation during fifteen months spent maturing in barrel, before being bottled unfiltered and without fining. The finished wine has an alcohol of 14.0 percent, pH of 3.65, and 5.90g/L titratable acid.

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Another great New Zealand Pinot Noir, this time from Malborough on the Northern tip of the South Island. Concentrated flavours and aromas, a wonderful ruby colour in the glass.. Great nose of strawberry, blackberry and black cherry, and typical Burgundy like earthiness on the palate with a beautifully long finish.