Muddy WaterMuddy Water
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Hare's Breath Pinot Noir

A spicy and herbaceous wine as enigmatic as the hare it was named for.

Muddy Water Muddy Water

The Block

Perched on the hillside, the Hare's Breath block earned its name from momentary glimpses by winery staff of an enigmatic wild hare living among the vines. On cool winter mornings the hare's breath can be seen in frosty puffs. Lumps of free limestone are dotted in the soil surface, giving a strong mineral character to the fruit. Natural air movement down the slopes keeps everything frost free and the hillside soils are free draining, making this a reliable block even on wetter years. A little irrigation is needed in summer, drawn from the naturally renewing spring on the property.

These rows are planted to a higher density than our older blocks with a mix of seven newer clone types from Burgundy, including one rumoured to have been smuggled out of Domaine de la Romanee Conti in the 1970s, tucked into a rugby player's gumboot. The vines are now reaching maturity and with careful spur-pruning and minimal irrigation we ensure a low yield, with each vine producing just enough fruit to create a single bottle of wine.

  • Planted: 2000-2002
  • Planting density: 5000vines/ha
  • Row spacing: 2m
  • Vine spacing: 1m
  • Avg yield: 1kg/vine
    (1 bottle from each vine)

The Wine

Hare's Breath wine is born through careful mixing of our hillside-grown clones, fermenting the fruits together so each can contribute a distinct element to the mix: aromatics, tannins, mouthfeel, fruit flavour, florals and spiciness. The resulting wine is typically dark and dense, with more spice and robust tannins than our Slowhand Pinot Noir, accented by wonderful lifted herbal elements from the block's terroir. A wine with definite structure, you can feel the angles through the palate.

The fruit is hand-picked in the cool morning hours of autumn before being hand-sorted and destemmed to small fermenters where it slowly warms up and begins natural wild yeast fermentation. The clones are often fermented together to give a more complex style, and we usually include a small percentage of whole bunch. Plunging is done with gentle hands before pressing to French oak barrels for ageing. Bottled free of fining or filtration.

Hare's Breath Pinot Noir 2012

Lifted, vibrant and complex aroma profile showing ripe berry and dark cherry fruits.

A definite mineral element is present throughout flowing through to the palate providing structure and restraint to the fruit.

Earthy and complex in nature the palate shows underlying ripe berries tightly bound by chalky tannin from the Limestone subsoil on the Muddy Water hillside.

With sturdy tannin this is built to last and will age out to 2024.

NZ Organic Wine Awards 2015
Wine of the Show and Gold medal
  • Bottled: 16 September 2013
  • Cases: 190
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • R/S: Nil
  • Cases: 190
  • T.A: 6.23g/L
  • Cellaring: 2013 - 2024

Hare's Breath Pinot Noir 2011

The 2011 season was warm overall with slightly more cloud than average, creating fruit that reveals more savoury than primary fruit characters.

Great intensity of both red and dark fleshed fruits on the nose leads way to strongly structured wine through the palate.

Mineral salts, oak seasoning and robust fruit flavours combine to give a complexity and wonderful expression of the block where it was grown.

A serious wine which needs time to breathe or to be decanted, if not being stored for longer ageing. Pairs excellently with venison and rich fish such as salmon or tuna.

Michael Cooper/Wine State
  • Harvested: 31 Mar - 14 Apr 2011
  • Cellaring: 2026