We picked our Pinot Noir between 11 and 16 April. The long clear and calm autumn weather was a godsend after the cooler summer, and the grapes were able to produce the pronouced concentrated flavour we look for in pinot varieties.

Our Pinot Gris was picked in early May – the latest that we have ever picked this variety. It was essential to leave the grapes on the vine this long in order to achieve the high levels of richness and texture which we seek in the finished wine.

2002 Porters Pinot Noir

pn2002_10After picking, the grapes were soaked on their skins for a lengthy pre-fermentation maceration with 20% wholebunches. This serves to extract colour and flavour. After fermentation in open fermenters the wine was matured in French oak barriques (one third new) for 12 months prior to bottling. The wine shows concentration of flavour with a seamless texture, and fine grained oak and fruit tannins. Whilst lean and muscular in its youth, this wine carries its 13.5% alcohol with ease, and has finesse and charm in abundance.

The wine is enjoyable now, showing richness and subtle spicy flavours, and will also reward cellaring during which savoury and barnyard complexity will develop.

2002 Porters Pinot Noir – The Loft Reserve

In the last few months, we have completed the transformation of the previously vacant space in the top storey of the barn (above the winery) into a studio apartment, “The Winemaker’s Loft”, as one of our visiting French wine makers has christened it.

In 2002 we decided to experiment with one small lot of Pinot Noir, and mature it only in older oak barriques, for an extended period of time. Normally our Porters Pinot sees between 9-12 months maturation in French oak barriques, with at least 30% being new oak, which provides richness and complexity. In 2002 we decided, as a trial, to mature a small lot only in older oak barriques, so as to produce a leaner, more European style of wine.

We see the wine as a house reserve - a wine that is not as big or complex as our normal Pinot Noir - but rather a wine to drink every day (which we do). The resultant wine, “The Loft Reserve”, is more vinous and masculine than our premium Porters Pinot, but it is also a little cheaper, as we have avoided the cost of new barrels. This is not a second wine; it is a different wine, having also enjoyed extended skin contact prior to barrel-ageing.

2002 Porters Pinot Gris

pg2002_10This is a complex wine, with concentrated flavour and palate weight. The product of very low cropping vines, it was fermented in stainless steel with frequent lees stirring. Intense varietal notes of pear and almond dominate the nose followed by hints of jasmine and ginger on the palate. This wine will reward cellaring – developing increased complexity and texture with time. Some small white crystals (wine jewels!) may develop with time – these are quite harmless, and occur because of the gentle winemaking methods employed.