Ageing: 12 months in French oak barrels and 24 months in bottles
Porters Estate – Terroir & Winemaking
The 2017 season was cooler than average with higher rainfall. The last 2 weeks of ripening were blissfully settled and warm. This greatly aided the resultant wine quality. We harvested these grapes over a series of pickings, timed to get the best from the various blocks. We did not add stalks as we felt the tannin element from them would have added an unwanted green note.
We made this in the typical Porter fashion; hand picked then destemmed over a tank with a small amount of whole bunch fruit added to the ferment. The pre-ferment maceration of the grapes allows the pigments/colour to be extracted prior to the alcoholic fermentation. We kept the cap wet by a gentle plunge and allowed the ferment to kick off naturally, and generally followed this up with a cultured yeast. Between 19 and 21 days on skin is the normal. Each fermenter is drained to separate vessels, whilst the skins are all pressed to a single tank. We let the malolactic fermentations start in tanks and gently rack to barrels soon afterwards. Barrel maturation lasts about a year – sometimes 14 or 15 months. Blending occurs by looking at individual barrels and batches. This wine was cellared for 3 years prior to release, as maturation in bottle allows the wine to develop the longevity and nuance of fine Pinot Noir.
The original Porters vineyard on Kitchener Street, the main road into Martinborough, was five acres of bare and stony paddock until we planted Pinot Noir and a little Pinot Gris in 1992, with the first vintage off the block in 1995.
In 2006 another five acres of Pinot Noir vineyard was purchased next door to the homestead at 47 Kitchener Street. To the rear, a one hundred year old barn and stables was converted to a winery, being pressed into service just in time for the vintage in 2000.
The original vines are now more than twenty five years old and the richness and texture displayed in our wines that can only come from older vines is very much in evidence.
For us to have been able to create all this from a bare stony paddock and to raise our children on this land is reward in itself.
We hope you enjoy our wines as much as we have enjoyed producing them.
Annabel and John Porter