Cuve Béton means concrete tank, and this new bottling was fermented and raised in a single 5000-litre concrete vessel (from ultra-premium Italian tank maker Nico Velo). Barney first experimented with this tank in 2017, and found a noticeable difference in the finished wine: the concrete-raised Pinot displayed more chalky drive and a different tannin profile--obviously, the vessel's gentle transfer of oxygen and the cooler thermal mass made a difference.
There is also a slight difference in fruit source, this coming from a parcel within Merricks Grove where the vines are more exposed to the wind, resulting in more brightness and energy (and perhaps a tad less power than Merricks proper). The fruit here was entirely de-stemmed, fermented wild and spent three weeks on skins. It was bottled unfiltered.
This is an intense, smoky, sappy, cherry and raspberry fruited Pinot with flesh, crunchy freshness and really fine, soft tannins. Lining it up against the regular Merricks Pinot you'll see two very different wines, though both distinctly of place. Another delicious, exceptional example of the shire.
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