Dawson & James Pinot Noir 2014 (1x 75cl)
Dawson & James is the project of Peter Dawson and Tim James, who met in 1976 when they were both working at Hardy & Sons, and where they continued to work alongside each other for 20 years. They have since moved on to different projects, but have collaborated again to produce the Dawson & James wines in Tasmania. Their shared passion for Australian art, farming, camping and gastronomy, as well as their dedication to fine Australian wine, have combined in this exciting project, and the wines are the proof of their winemaking wisdom and enthusiasm. The wines come from the Meadowbank Vineyard, which is located around 60 kilometres north-west of Hobart, an area characterised by rugged topography and the fast flowing, pristine waters of the Derwent river.
The Meadowbank vineyard is located in the upper Derwent Valley in southern Tasmania and was planted in 1989. The site is 70 metres above the river level and the north-easterly aspect gives it optimal sunlight exposure for grape ripening. The soil is a combination of brown sandy loams over structured clays and sandstone rock. It has a devigorating nature, helping the balanced growth and structure of the vines. Vines are trellised to single cordon and managed to one bunch per shoot, and yields are kept at less than six tonnes per hectare.
The 2014 vintage began with above average winter rainfall which ensured that the vines had sufficient water reserves during the growing season. Cold and windy conditions at the beginning of the summer disrupted flowering slightly and this caused some millerandage within the bunches. Nevertheless, a good summer meant that the Pinot Noir achieved optimum ripeness levels and was hand-picked on 17th April.
Following hand-picking, 25% of the fruit was retained as whole bunches, the remaining 75% was destemmed and crushed. The whole bunches and crushed fruit underwent a four day cold soak prior to fermentation with natural yeasts in open-topped fermenters. The wine was then pressed in a traditional basket press before being transferred to Burgundian coopered oak barriques where it underwent malolactic fermentation and 12 months ageing. 40% of the barriques were new, the remaining 60% was a mixture of 500 litre puncheons and 5-year-old Tronçais oak barriques.
The Pinot Noir has great delicacy and balance. Aromas of ripe cherries and rose petals are complemented by the savoury oak influence. Complex and layered, with smooth tannins, it has a creamy texture and a wonderfully long finish.
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