The Delta farm, first established in 1848, is now owned by Neal Ibbotson of Saint Clair Family Estate. Their specialisation in Pinot Noir sets Delta apart from the crowd in Marlborough. Lying on the West Coast highway, the 30 hectare Delta Vineyard is planted with the best new Dijon clones of Pinot Noir and can be divided into two areas. The flatter part, closer to the road, produces approachable, younger drinking wines bottled under the 'Delta' label, whereas the best fruit from the hillsides that rise to around 175 metres produces the reserve style 'Hatter's Hill'. The low vigour clay soils, combined with the elevation of the vineyard, the warm days, the excellent quality of the light, the cool nights and the constant breeze, make this site ideal for the production of top quality Pinot Noir.
The Delta Pinot Noir vineyard comprises 27 hectares, planted in 2002 and 2003 with the best Dijon clones. A superb combination of low vigour clay soils, excellent elevation and Marlborough's viticultural advantages - plentiful sunshine, warm days, cool nights and constant breeze - make this an ideal site for producing top quality Pinot Noir.
This vintage saw one of the best fruit sets Marlborough has seen in recent years across all varieties. The growing season was warmer than average with an extended dry period up until late January. Some light rain in late February alleviated any water stress, extending the flavour development period. The ideal growing season continued, with very settled autumnal weather keeping disease levels low, to make 2015/2016 a perfect growing season.
Fruit was hand-harvested in separate batches then destemmed, but not crushed, into small fermenters. After a five day soak to stabilise the colour, fermentation took place at temperatures of up to 34°C, with frequent gentle hand-plunges. The wine was pressed off skins at the end of fermentation. After settling to remove solids, the wine was racked to a mixture of new and seasoned French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation and ageing on fine lees. The wine was then blended and bottled after ten months of ageing.
This Pinot Noir has lifted aromas of ripe berries with hints of dark spices. The palate offers damson plum with undertones of freshly ground coffee and vanilla, followed by well-balanced acidity, a fine tannin structure and a clean, lingering finish.