Cowley Family Vineyard is located in the Ben Morven foothills of Marlborough. It's a magnificent, sweeping site, divided into a large number of sub-plots and nurtured meticulously and organically by Ben Cowley. Corofin's fruit comes from the main slopes, planted at a density of 3,800 vines per hectare on clay-rich soils.
Four days in sealed tanks with 25% whole bunches, then foot trodden, natural ferment, 21 days on skins, pressed to old barrel; spontaneous malolactic in the late spring/early summer with the wine remaining on original lees for 13 months; racked to tank for six months, before being bottled without fining or filtration.
Corofin's 2016 from this site is darker and inkier than the Settlement, but it lacks nothing in both energy and lift. Expect dark cherry and iodine scented fruit and a savoury palate with fine tannins running from go to whoa.
Established in 2011, Corofin is the new home for ex-Jackson Estate winesmith Mike Paterson and his partner Anna, until recently GM at TerraVin. At this early juncture, while Mike is contracted to another project and Anna busy raising the couple’s two young daughters, Corofin craft two (soon to be three) single-vineyard Pinot Noirs, each in tiny 100-150-case lots. You can read about two of these “pretty special Marlborough sites” below (the third being the Weavers’ ‘Waihopi Slopes’ at Churton). Not too far down the line we’ll see a little Chardonnay as well. For the time being the wines are made out of temporary digs at Fromm. Having spent the majority of their working years in and about Marlborough, Mike and Anna have no doubt regarding the potential of their adopted region, and were well placed to approach their first choice of vineyards. Indeed, Paterson’s selection of sites reflects both a winemaker’s enthusiasm for Marlborough’s Southern Valley hillside vineyards plus the dedication of certain grape growers whose vineyards he believes ‘act as a beacon of Marlborough individuality’. Not by accident do these growers focus on organic and/or biodynamic principles. In addition, Paterson’s artisanal approach in the winery does the necessary justice to each site; hand-harvesting and sorting, whole berry/cluster ferments, fermentation with indigenous yeast, no fining nor filtration and zero new wood, with the wines raised in 2-4 year old barrels. In a region where for much of the time money talks and terroir walks, Corofin’s 2013s show that great, singular terroir is thriving in Marlborough (a cliché that has sometimes hit troubled waters in its journey across the ditch). Paterson goes one step further in demonstrating that precocious, ripe Marlborough Pinot can be made without confected fruit, nor winemaking artefact—Paterson’s are beautifully aromatic, detailed and sculpted Pinot Noir, which combine the best of all worlds: finesse, freshness, terroir transparency. We can already tell you he’s got a similar way with Chardonnay. The wines have the aromatic prowess and elegant texture that will appeal to Burgundy fanatics, but also youthful generosity and reasonable price tag; qualities all Pinot lovers can get behind. In short, we’re delighted to be working with this talented and classy young project.