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 Porters Pinot Noir Raises $3500 in Charity Auction for Riversdale Beach Surf Lifesaving Club 

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On September 15th Gazleys held a Charity Auction to support the new Lifesaving building at Riversdale Beach. We donated a 3 Litre and a 5 litre bottle of Porters 2014 Pinot Noir which sold for $1500 and $2000 respectively. We thank Gazleys and the Riversdale Beach Surf Living Clubfor a great night and a really good cause. Some one is going to have a fantastic Dinner  - thanks for your generosity and  of course, great taste!

Notes on the 2016 Harvest

Settled weather over spring time, although slightly cooler than normal, gave us less wind damage from those brisk westerly flows. We noted a slightly heavier crop load and also the increased number of small berries within the bunch itself. As I’ve previously said, February and March were lovely – dry and warm. Our vineyard next to the house escaped the worst of the December frost, although our little block of Pinot gris lost about 50% , it will be a very small white wine production this year. We began the harvest on the 4th of April as the Brix on one block was getting towards 24 and we like to peg back the alcohols as they can play havoc with back palate phenolics and make the wines a bit wonky. The gorgeous dark berry flavours were all there, skins nicely thinned and the seeds a lovely nut brown. We also harvested a small batch at around 22 brix, as the acids and flavours looked very nice, and we do like to have a fresh, expressive character within the final blend or blends. The remainder of the block and the Pinot gris was harvested 14-20 days later. The small Pinot noir berries in this block sitting at about 25 brix were the perfect foil for the larger berries in the 22-22.5 range. The Pinot Gris juiced out at a hair under 23.4, with a lovely fresh pear juice note on the nose. We kept the Pinot noir on skin for an extended maceration, allowing an extra 7-12 days (depending on the batch) in order to allow the tannin expression to mature. We’ve found that this block likes a little post ferment maceration, in order to soften some of it’s more egregious tannins and edges.
After we press off the skins, we leave the wine for 24-48 hours to settle and then rack the tanks into French only barrels. We can tell by the gentle prickling that malolactic ferment is underway. This will probably slow down now winter has arrived, and will re-energise again in spring. In the interim, we will bottle the 2014 Estate and Reserve blends, and spend time polishing the 2015 blends. And those are looking as every bit as good as the 2016’s.

Pre Harvest thoughts on 2016

It has been a dry start to the year. The Wairarapa is full of manila folder coloured paddocks interlaced with the dark green foliage of well-established trees marching down fence lines. February and March are when wineries start to clean out the empty tanks and wipe down the press, preparing for the month ahead when it’s all hands to the pump and plunger.

At Porters we take this time to polish the 2014 Pinots and make a plan for the 2015’s. Both have lush, complex fruit notes which are hallmarks of the House block. This younger block is comprised of clone 115 and Abel. It has developed markedly in the past 8+  years from a simplistic, floral expression to a more deep, rounded and rich character. We are very interested to see where this goes over the next decade. Martinborough Pinot Noirs are about tannin and structure married to cherries and violet aromas, and this young block has started to demonstrate its potential to display these characters and much more.

In the meantime, Martinborough has enjoyed a glorious summer. It appears to me anyway that many more tourists have enjoyed all that Marty has to offer. There is a real buzz around town – particularly those who come across from Wellington to experience a weekend of pleasure and rest. One of my favourite things to do is catch up with good friends at Cool Change on the square, with a refreshing end of work Pilsner. I hope to see you there.

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