Merricks Pinot Noir
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Sourced from the Merricks Grove vineyard where the 20-year-old vines are rooted in grey sandy loams marbled with red ironstone. As for the Chardonnay offered above (from this site), the altitude and coastal breezes gift a more filigree, aromatic wine when compared with Garagiste's corresponding wine from the lower lying Balnarring terroir.
Picked on the 1st March, the grapes were hand sorted twice - in the vineyard, and again in the winery on a sorting table.
The fruit was then slowly destemmed into small open fermenters with wild yeast ferments and a reasonably long maceration (total time on skins is 23 days).
The extraction process was gentle with light pump overs and a few plunges.
The wine was then matured in 300-litre hogsheads (20% new François Frères) and spent 10 months on lees before bottling, unfiltered.
Imagine a punnet filled with bright Satsuma plums, red berries, a few cloves and a hint of grated nutmeg. On the tongue you've got a sappy and refined texture, with succulent fruit sweetness mopped up by long, refreshing tannins. A really class and seductive Pinot.
"Garagiste is a gem of a producer. It's smoky and stern, herbal too, but it has both the fruit and the pinky musk-like notes to carry the day. Indeed the complexity on offer here, for such a young wine, is notable.
Chicory, undergrowth, black cherry, orange rind and toast-like notes weave their way through the palate.
It's not in any way sweet but nor is it bitter or unripe. I don't have winemaking specs but it feels as though there's a whole bunch element - in it's twiggy/undergrowthy characters, its mouthfeel and indeed its tannin - though it could be the year and the vineyard rather than the process. No matter. It's a wine with plenty going on; a wine which should mature well in the medium term, if not longer. It needs a little more time for the flesh to find its feet but it's getting there. Quality oak here adds a seductive element." 93+ points, Campbell Mattinson, winefront.com.au