Burn Cottage Burn Cottage Vineyard Central Otago Pinot Noir 2020  £51.58

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Burn Cottage, `Burn Cottage Vineyard` Central Otago Pinot Noir

Burn Cottage refers to the name of the road on which this 28-hectare property sits in Lowburn, Central Otago. The estate was once a sheep paddock until it was purchased by Marquis Sauvage in 2002. Marquis enlisted Ted Lemon of Sonoma Coast’s famous Littorai as their winemaker and together they decided to plant Pinot Noir in 2003.

Six years later, they released their first wine. To select the best sites for their Pinot Noir, Ted and Marquis dug 60 soil pits to determine which Pinot Noir clones would suit which soil types. They selected ten clones to plant on five different rootstocks tailored to each soil profile. Burn Cottage is distinguished in Central Otago as the first and only estate in the region to have practised biodynamics since day one. This was Ted Lemon’s one stipulation for his involvement and winemaking at Burn Cottage is best described as ‘minimal intervention’. There is no addition of yeasts or bacteria for fermentations, with minimal sulphur use and no filtration before bottling.

To find suitable plots for planting, 60 soil pits were dug and 10 Pinot Noir clones were selected with five different rootstocks tailored to the different soil profiles. The soils in the vineyard are derivatives of broken down schist and granite, classified as free draining sandy loams. In the lower elevations the soils are slightly heavier and on the steeper slopes the soils are much more rocky and gravelly. Most of the terrain is made up of old river beds pushed up by glacial movements. Burn Cottage has the unique distinction of being the first and only Central Otago estate that has been biodynamic since day one, Ted Lemon’s one stipulation for his involvement.

The early season of the 2020 vintage was somewhat changeable with cool temperatures at times. This resulted in flowering occurring over an unusually long period. Temperatures rose significantly to bring great summer conditions throughout January and February which was interspersed with some rainfall. Mild conditions in March preserved the balance and acidity of the fruit.

The winemaking at Burn Cottage reflects biodynamic principles with low intervention. There is no addition of yeast or bacteria for fermentation, sulphur use is minimal and there is no filtration before bottling. Fermentation of the Pinot Noir grapes lasted for 18 days with 7% kept as whole bunches. The wine was aged in oak barrels (a mixture of Damy and Mercurey), 25% of which were new.

On the nose, this wine is precise and perfumed with lovely aromatics of cherry, violets, and spices layered with hints of bramble and wet stones. The palate has wonderful finesse and fine tannins which extend through the long finish.

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