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2017 Dexter Pinot Noir

2017 Dexter Pinot Noir

'Clear crimson-purple; wastes no time in laying siege with its fruit bouquet and (in particular) palate. It's hard to decide whether it's the dark berry (black cherry and blackberry) or the savoury texture and length that are the best points of a truly outstanding Pinot.'
97 Points - James Halliday

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DESCRIPTION
  • Tod Dexter grew up with wine. Along with his parents' considerable interest in wine he had a childhood friendship with the Crittendon family, one of Melbourne's premium wine merchants who further introduced him to the world of wine. It was then no surprise that in 1974 after a skiing trip in the US, Tod ended up in the Napa Valley where he spent a seven-year apprenticeship with one of California's premium family wineries, Cakebread Cellars.

    On his return, Tod then joined forces with Brian Stonier at Stonier Wines where, where over the next ten years, he grew the company to become one of Australia's premium producers of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. 

    During a formative trip to France in 2000 when they visited the most famous Pinot producers in the world, Tod gained a new respect for the concept of terroir and the responsibility to future generations in caring for the land. He also had reinforced to him the importance of attention to detail in both the vineyard and winery. This trip was what encouraged Tod and Debbie to take the next step and produce their own wine. Thus Dexter Wines was born.


  • WINEMAKER'S NOTES

    The Dexter Vineyard is in a small east/west valley. The evening sea breezes from Port Phillip Bay, Westernport Bay and Bass Strait helps moderate the local climate. The vineyard was set out to maximise its qualities and specific site. Planted on the north facing slope, it allows for maximum sunlight interception. This is most important in cool regions as it results in even sunlight on both sides of the vine allowing for even ripening. The slope also provides good natural drainage in the wet seasons. The shallow soil helps in controlling vine growth, resulting in open vine canopies and again even ripening. The site is well protected from the cold southerly winds which is important for protection of the vines during critical stages of ripening.

    Growing premium fruit has always been the ultimate aim. Row spacing (2.5 metres) and vine spacing (1.5 metres) optimize the interception of sunlight by the vines and allows a good ratio of fruit weight to leaf surface area. This promotes even ripening and good balanced fruit.

    Hand-picked fruit was destemmed without crushing and elevated into small open fermenters. The must was left un-inoculated for 2-3 days and when fermentation was observed cultured yeast was added. One fermenter was put aside for whole bunch fermentation and this component is 8% of the final blend. Fermentation temperatures peaked at around 32°C and during fermentation the cap was plunged up to 2 times per day. 2-3 days after fermentation was complete, the must was gently pressed and transferred into French Oak bariques and puncheons (20% new, 12% second use and the remainder older) where MLF occured before winter. The wine was racked just prior to bottling. It was bottled late December 2016, 8 months after harvest.

    2017 was a long, relatively cool one on the Mornington Peninsula. Cold and wet weather around flowering and fruit set has delivered large variation throughout the region in terms of quality and quantity. Being in a warmer part of the region we ripened our fruit in near perfect condition. Harvest date was later relative to the long term average with a below average crop load. In summary, the season has produced good flavour ripeness at lower sugars with bright and intense fruit flavours, nice structure and good acid balance.

    Analysis at Harvest
    Sugar 23.3 – 23.6 Brix
    pH 3.53 to 3.55
    Acid 6.3g/l to 6.7g/l TA
    Harvest date 1st and 2nd week of March
    Clones MV6 (60%) D5V12 (40%)
    Alcohol - 13.5%

    TASTING NOTES

    Aromas of dark berry fruits such as blackberry, plums and cherries with background aromas of dried herbs and spices. The wine is similar to the 2013 and 2015, perhaps more powerful. The complex flavours are of blackberries, plums, spices and hints of oak. It has a soft entry with mid palate fruit sweetness and lovely texture. The finish is long with balanced acid and fine tannins. It should age very well

  • REVIEWS

    'Clear crimson-purple; wastes no time in laying siege with its fruit bouquet and (in particular) palate. It's hard to decide whether it's the dark berry (black cherry and blackberry) or the savoury texture and length that are the best points of a truly outstanding Pinot.'
    97 Points - James Halliday, The Weekend Australian



    'Bright red/purple colour and a superbly fresh, fragrant cherry aroma, with background spices and dried herb traces. Very intense, vibrant and precise. An outstanding young pinot destined for a long and distinguished life.'
    96 Points - Huon Hooke



    'It’s a more assertive release from Dexter, a little less delicate, but still well under the boxing weight of most pinot noir from the region. It holds its succulence and feathery tannins well, it’s loaded with cherry juice and pomegranate fruit scents and flavours, it offers a sprinkle of herb n spice to taste. It’s exceptionally long in flavour too. Indeed, it’s a beautiful wine when you take stock of it all, and best of all, drinkability is high. A really lovely expression once more.'
    94 Points - Mike Bennie