Terre De Feu Pinot Noir
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Cropped from a specific ½ acre plot of the Merricks Grove vineyard, Terre de Feu (land of fire) takes its name from the vein of pure, red ferrosol in the soil here.
Flanders had noticed the vines, whose roots plunged into this subsoil, were producing slightly smaller bunches, therefore yielding greater depth and concentration in the resulting wine.
Thus the rationale for the 100% whole bunch ferment; Terre de Feu remains Garagiste's first and only full stems Pinot, and it's a beauty.
From a near perfect season, the 2015 was harvested on the 7th March. As for all the wines here, the grapes were hand sorted twice, firstly in the vineyard and again in the winery on a sorting table.
Then it was 100% whole bunched in a small open fermenter, with native yeasts allowed to work their magic and the wine spending a significant 28 days on skins and stems. Gentle cap management, predominantly with light foot treading, lead to pressing off to two 300-litre François Frères hogsheads (one of which was new).
The wine was bottled unfiltered after 10 months on fine lees. Only 90 cases were made in total.
It's a wonderful expression of Merricks with great finesse, perfume and intensity. It's all summed up beautifully by the Gary Walsh note below.
"Here's a wine that holds its cards close to its chest. It needs time in a big glass, or maybe a decant, before it plays its hand. A riot of whole bunch spice and dried herb perfume, rhubarb, poached strawberries, dark cherry, Campari, vanilla etc. etc. - it does not want for complexity. Medium bodied, very firm and dusty, scrunchy tannin, intense flavour, spice and amaro, blood orange acidity, stalks and wheatgrass, big punch of graphite tannin through a long finish, but enveloped in sweet and sour cherry. In terms of Pinot Noir, it's the Big Show. This one goes to eleven. All that. The 'Land of Fire' is a great name for such a wine." 95 points, Gary Walsh, winefront.com.au