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Different approaches to Pinot Noir

How wineries in Burgundy, New Zealand and England make their wines…

 

A beautiful grape that's vinified in different ways

Different approaches to Pinot Noir
  • Chris Boiling
  • 2022-09-20
As someone who has made one of the best rosés and one of the worst reds from super-sensitive Pinot Noir grapes, I’m curious about how the pros do it. Wineries from Burgundy, New Zealand and England tell me about their Pinot Noirs…


PN - Jackson PN winery

Producer: Jackson Estate, Marlborough, New Zealand

Wine: Vintage Widow 2018

Vineyard details
Total vineyard area: 78ha
Total ha of Pinot Noir: 34ha
Plots used for this wine: 2 (Gum Emperor and Somerset blocks in the southern Waihopai Valley)
Age of Pinot Noir vines: 25 to 32 years
Clones: Multiple (eg. 777, 667, 115, 114, UDC5, 10/5, 943, Abel)
Vineyard management: Sustainable
Yield: 4.2T/ha

Winemaking details
Harvest date:
Brix: 23.5
Harvested: By hand
Reception protocol: Destemmed into small open-top fermenters, retaining a large proportion of whole berries
Pre-fermentation soak: 5 days
Protection: Inert gas
Fermentation details: 5 days cold soak at 10°C, 3-4 peak ferment at 33°C, total 28-30 days on skins for various components
Yeasts: Native
Fermentation temperature: 30-33°C
Temperature control: No
When is SO2 added? Post blending after 10 months in barrel
What level? Initially add 50ppm as SO2 then top up to around 33 free
Length of time on skins: up to 30 days, about 14 after fermentation
Extraction method: Hand-plunging once or twice a day
Pressing pressure: 1 bar and cut to taste
Maturation: a mixture of French oak barrels (25% new from four or five different coopers; rest second, third and fourth fill)
MLF: Natural
Blending: By taste and bench blending
Any fining or filtering? No
Time in bottle before release: 3-4 years


PN - Jackson Estate winemaker

Producer: Jackson Estate, Marlborough, New Zealand

Name: Gum Emperor 2013

Vineyard details
Total vineyard area: 78 ha
Total ha of Pinot Noir: 34
Plots used for this wine: Gum Emperor vineyard, on the Waihopai Valley Road, Marlborough
Age of Pinot Noir vines: 28+
Clones: UCD5, 777 and 115
Vineyard management: Sustainable
Yield: 3.4T/ha

Winemaking details
Harvest date: March 25
Brix: 24.6
Harvested: By hand
Reception protocol: Destemmed, retaining a large proportion of whole berries
Pre-fermentation soak: averaging 5 days
Protection: CO2 pellets on cap 2 x daily
Fermentation details: 4-5 days cold soak, peak ferment lasts for 3 days
Yeasts: Native
Fermentation temperature: 30-33°C
Temperature control: No
When is SO2 added? Post blending after 10 months and at bottling
What level? 50ppm initially then topped up to 35 free
Length of time on skins: 33 days (but current Gum Emperor is pushing up to 45 days)
Extraction method: Hand-plunging
Pressing pressure: 0.8 bar, cut to taste
Maturation: In French oak (about 10% new) for 10 months (now two years)
MLF: Natural
Blending: By repeated taste and bench blending
Any fining or filtering? No
Time in bottle before release: Long – 2013 is the current release (usually 4-5 years in bottle prior to release)

PN - Denbies credit Alex lyons

Producer: Denbies Wine Estate, Surrey, England

Wine: Denbies Pinot Noir 2019

Vineyard details
Total vineyard area: 87ha (with a further 9ha planted in 2022)
Total ha of Pinot Noir: 10.6ha
Number of plots: 4
Age of Pinot Noir vines: 24 years
Clones: Unknown
Vineyard management: Conventional
Yield: Each block is wildly different every year

Winemaking details
Harvest date: October 22, 2019
Brix: 21
Harvested: By hand
Reception protocol: Destemmed and crushed
Any pre-fermentation soak? No
Protection: Nitrogen
Yeast: Cultivated
Extraction: Punchdown twice daily
Fermentation temperature: 15°C
When is SO2 added? Post-fermentation
What level? 30ppm
Length of time on skins: 9 days
Pressing pressure:
Maturation: One year on fine lees in one new Burgundy barrel (225L) with the balance in 14 old oak barrels (three to five years old)
MLF: Co-inoculated
Blending: Continuous tasting throughout the year. Every barrel in 2019 was good enough for the final blend
Any fining or filtering? No fining, light filtration
Time in bottle before release: 1 year

PN-Louis-Jadot-cellar

Producer: Louis Jadot, Burgundy, France

Wine: Louis Jadot Bourgogne Côte d'Or 2019

Vineyard details
Total vineyard area: 140ha (more than 220 plots)
Total ha of Pinot Noir:
Number of plots: >20 with Côte de Nuits, Saône et Loire and Irancy giving structure and tannins whilst Hautes Côtes adds fruitiness
Age of Pinot Noir vines:
Clones:
Vineyard management: Sustainable (2019 HVE, 2021 organic)
Yield: around 35hl/ha in 2019

Winemaking details
Harvest date: mid-September
Brix:
Harvested: Partly handpicked
Reception protocol: 100% destemmed
Any pre-fermentation soak? No
Protection: None
Fermentation details:
Temperature control: No
Yeasts: Native
When is SO2 added? After MLF
What level? Depends
Length of time on skins: three to four weeks
Extraction method: Punchdowns
Pressing pressure: <1bar
Maturation: 15-18 months in French oak barrels from own cooperage (33% new oak, 33% second-fill and 33% third-fill)
MLF: Natural
Blending: After 18 months
Any fining or filtering? No fining, slight filtration
Time in bottle before release: 6 months

PN - Nicolas Dupuis

Producer: Louis Jadot, Burgundy, France

Wine: Louis Jadot Beaune 1er Cru 2017

Vineyard details
Total vineyard area: 140ha (more than 220 plots)
Total ha of Pinot Noir:
Number of plots: 15 plots – a blend of some of their smaller but highly prized Beaune 1er Cru vineyards
Age of Pinot Noir vines:
Clones:
Vineyard management: Sustainable (2019 HVE, 2021 organic)
Yield: around 35hl/ha in 2019

Winemaking details
Harvest date: mid-September
Brix:
Harvested: Partly handpicked
Reception protocol: 100% destemmed
Any pre-fermentation soak? No
Protection: None
Fermentation details:
Temperature control: No
Yeasts: Native
When is SO2 added? After MLF
What level? Depends
Length of time on skins: 25-33 days
Extraction method: Punchdowns
Pressing pressure: <1bar
Maturation: 15-18 months in French oak barrels from own cooperage (33% new oak, 33% second-fill and 33% third-fill)
MLF: Natural
Blending: After 18 months
Any fining or filtering? No fining, slight filtration
Time in bottle before release: 1 year minimum

PN - 5 bottles 2

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