Our winemaking has evolved over the years as we’ve ‘listened’ to the fruit telling us about its ‘terroir’. We use between half and two-thirds of whole bunches in Samba Side. When we handpick in late April the stems are usually dry and desiccated. This brings a dried orange-peel kind of bittersweet, amaro tannin rather than the overt bitterness usually associated with ‘whole bunch’ Pinot. Fruit is cold macerated prior to fermentation to extract colour and flavour from the skins.
The pre-ferment cold soak takes about ten days. Subsequently, the wine is brought out of the cool room and allowed to start fermentation naturally. The ferments are in small 500-litre bins and are foot-plunged three times a day. As soon as fermentation is complete, the wine is pressed to barriques.
Domenic Laurent ‘Magic Casks’ are used for the Samba Side. They seem to get along quite nicely. The wine is put to barrel in a turbid state with all of its fermentation lees. This adds a kind of ‘chocolate/mocha’ flavour to the mid-palate and seems to leave more aromatics in the wine.
Malolactic fermentation is completed in barrel and the wine is bottled without filtration after about a year in barrel. Not filtering seems to leave the wine ‘slipperier’ and with more lifted aromatics.