Quest Farm Home Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

$40.00
Sale price

Regular price $40.00

Closely planted in 2000/2001, the Quest Farm Pinot noir contains a mixture of clones (Abel, 115, 667, 777, 6, 114, 5, 10/5 and 113).

Mark Mason (winemaker): "My benchmark Quest Farm wine, showcasing the site first, then vintage.
There is a particular signature that is expressed in this wine that has taken 10 years to unlock and highlight.  Firstly, these vines are some of the highest in Central (250-350m).  Harvest is a week later than the norm, but counter-balanced because of the steep north-facing slopes, averaging close to 20 degrees.  This gives abundant reflective light.  Consequently, we modify the tannin management and only hand-plunge once a day and manage closely the tannin pick-up when the ferment finishes.

Up to 30% whole bunch depending on the stem lignification. Small open tanks.  Only wild yeasts used to ferment which takes about a week to kick in.  Because of the high percentage of whole bunches, the ferment can take up to three weeks to finish.  Warm ferment at 32C and a little longer on skins - up to 10 days.  Pressed with lite lees into a mix of new (12%) including larger format, and second/third fill..  11 months in barrel.  Racked and lightly filtered in June.

The hidden component I found through the various vintages is a pretty aromatic lift that builds for the first five years of development, holds, and then shows a Bush Honey layer adding a tactile sweet middle palate when the tannins plateau.

This aromatic profile I believe comes from the flowering Briars (wild roses brought onto the farm area by the gold miners).  They flower at the same time as the Pinot Noir, and over the last 100 years have added to the soil profile by increasing the organic matter when they lose their foliage each year.  I separate each block when clearing each of the seventeen blocks by the colour and smell of the soil.  No other vineyard I know in Central or NZ has this significant trait.  My goal/quest is to let it shine through in a sea of conformity."

Alc 13.3% TA 5.9,pH 3.7 Dry

 

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Quest Farm

In 1999 Mark Mason left the winery he had started just over a decade earlier with hjs brother in Hawke's Bay, Sacred Hill, to start his own venture in Central Otago. It took him a few years to bulldoze away the roaming bush that covered the steep slopes of his 145 hectares, but he ended up with 18 unique vineyard sites with a range of slopes and soils - terroir!

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir produces some of the world's most expensive, most lauded, rarest and delicious wines. Equally, it is one of the most difficult grapes to grow successfully and, as a result, it is challenging to produce good Pinot Noir. It is historically from Burgundy in France.  Often Pinot Noir will be referred to as 'Burgundy'.

 

--------THE REGION--------

Central Otago

Central Otago is one of the most southerly wine regions in the world and it is most commonly referred to as Pinot Central, in New Zealand. It has a long history of winemaking dating back to the mid 1800s and in fact a 'Burgundy' from Central Otago won a gold medal in a Sydney wine competition in 1881. A few winemakers including Alan Brady helped to craft it into a leading Pinot Noir region for the world thanks to his fruit-bombs. Many fantastic aromatic white wines excel here also.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not lean with high acid.  Rather choose wines with some sweetness, fruit or viscosity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not big tannins but have lots of fruity flavours.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami-rich foods.  They will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are fruity and/or have higher sweetness levels.

Wines that are off-dry like many Gewürztraminers or Rieslings could work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you could consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help to cut down the perception of fattiness.  

These suggestions (there are no rules that apply to everyone) will help you to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that works well by cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity in a Pinot Noir. 

Closely planted in 2000/2001, the Quest Farm Pinot noir contains a mixture of clones (Abel, 115, 667, 777, 6, 114, 5, 10/5 and 113).

Mark Mason (winemaker): "My benchmark Quest Farm wine, showcasing the site first, then vintage.
There is a particular signature that is expressed in this wine that has taken 10 years to unlock and highlight.  Firstly, these vines are some of the highest in Central (250-350m).  Harvest is a week later than the norm, but counter-balanced because of the steep north-facing slopes, averaging close to 20 degrees.  This gives abundant reflective light.  Consequently, we modify the tannin management and only hand-plunge once a day and manage closely the tannin pick-up when the ferment finishes.

Up to 30% whole bunch depending on the stem lignification. Small open tanks.  Only wild yeasts used to ferment which takes about a week to kick in.  Because of the high percentage of whole bunches, the ferment can take up to three weeks to finish.  Warm ferment at 32C and a little longer on skins - up to 10 days.  Pressed with lite lees into a mix of new (12%) including larger format, and second/third fill..  11 months in barrel.  Racked and lightly filtered in June.

The hidden component I found through the various vintages is a pretty aromatic lift that builds for the first five years of development, holds, and then shows a Bush Honey layer adding a tactile sweet middle palate when the tannins plateau.

This aromatic profile I believe comes from the flowering Briars (wild roses brought onto the farm area by the gold miners).  They flower at the same time as the Pinot Noir, and over the last 100 years have added to the soil profile by increasing the organic matter when they lose their foliage each year.  I separate each block when clearing each of the seventeen blocks by the colour and smell of the soil.  No other vineyard I know in Central or NZ has this significant trait.  My goal/quest is to let it shine through in a sea of conformity."

Alc 13.3% TA 5.9,pH 3.7 Dry

 

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Quest Farm

In 1999 Mark Mason left the winery he had started just over a decade earlier with hjs brother in Hawke's Bay, Sacred Hill, to start his own venture in Central Otago. It took him a few years to bulldoze away the roaming bush that covered the steep slopes of his 145 hectares, but he ended up with 18 unique vineyard sites with a range of slopes and soils - terroir!

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir produces some of the world's most expensive, most lauded, rarest and delicious wines. Equally, it is one of the most difficult grapes to grow successfully and, as a result, it is challenging to produce good Pinot Noir. It is historically from Burgundy in France.  Often Pinot Noir will be referred to as 'Burgundy'.

 

--------THE REGION--------

Central Otago

Central Otago is one of the most southerly wine regions in the world and it is most commonly referred to as Pinot Central, in New Zealand. It has a long history of winemaking dating back to the mid 1800s and in fact a 'Burgundy' from Central Otago won a gold medal in a Sydney wine competition in 1881. A few winemakers including Alan Brady helped to craft it into a leading Pinot Noir region for the world thanks to his fruit-bombs. Many fantastic aromatic white wines excel here also.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not lean with high acid.  Rather choose wines with some sweetness, fruit or viscosity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not big tannins but have lots of fruity flavours.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami-rich foods.  They will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are fruity and/or have higher sweetness levels.

Wines that are off-dry like many Gewürztraminers or Rieslings could work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you could consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help to cut down the perception of fattiness.  

These suggestions (there are no rules that apply to everyone) will help you to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that works well by cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity in a Pinot Noir.