The grapes were carefully selected and hand-picked into small lug boxes to limit pressure on the bunches, and then placed into a cold-room to be kept at 5˚C overnight. The following day the bunches were hand-sorted on a conveyor, de-stemmed without pressing, and the whole berries allowed to fall directly into the open-topped fermenters.
Cold maceration ensued for 3 – 4 days at < 10°C until the juice started fermenting naturally from indigenous yeasts. Pigeage (punching down) was done once a day, only by hand, for a gentle extraction. The wine spent 15 days on the skins before pressing, and thereafter racked and left to complete malolactic fermentation and maturation in only French oak barrels for 11 months (25% new, 50% 2nd-fill and 25% 3rd-fill).
2018 was the maiden vintage of our Aristea Pinot Noir from Hemel-en-Aarde and comes from two wonderful vineyards at the top of the valley.
It is a delicately layered wine, with red fruit aromas of cranberry, raspberry, blackberry and slight hints of Turkish Delight on the nose. On the front of the mouth it shows bright, seductive and succulent fruit followed by more gentle black fruit down the middle, whilst the balanced acid and tension on the sides combine well with the velvety-soft tannins to give the wine a grippy backbone and long lingering finish.