Muddy Water Pinot Noir Hare's Breath 2011
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.
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.