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Viticulture: Lutte raisonee/sustainable, no synthetic fungicides or herbicides.
The Ray-Monde Vineyard was established in 1988 by the Lakey family, in South Gisborne at 400m above sea level on the Southern edge of the Macedon Ranges GI, to which it once belonged. The gently North-East facing 5ha of Pinot Noir form a small part of the 230ha grazing farm now managed by John and Tristia Lakey, on which sheep, cattle, chicken and more are reared, with an emphasis on sustainable grazing and re-vegetation.
Like Captains Creek, this is another true mixed farm, and I’m privileged to be able to purchase fruit. The vineyard is unique for the area, being planted gravelly ironstone and basaltic clay soils, with very little top soil and a huge amount of “Bluestone” rock just below the surface. This lean soil together with vine age results in incredibly concentrated grapes, with thick skins and ripe stems even at low sugar levels. Typically, ripening occurs around a week earlier than Doug’s Vineyard.
Once hand harvested in the cool of morning, with careful sorting in the vineyard, 80% was transferred as whole cluster to a single open fermenter, the remainder gently de-stemmed and placed on top. The must was then allowed to soak 4-5 days at its cool ambient temperature until fermentation commenced. There after the grapes were gently extracted by a combination of pumping over and pigage by foot.
The wine then pressed after a total of three weeks on skins and transferred to a single new (Laurent “Magic Cask” thick stave, blonde toast) and five old (6-10yo) oak Burgundian piece for lees aging for 12 months. Followed by six months in stainless steel on fine lees, before racking and bottling, unfined and unfiltered. The only addition to the wine is a small dose of sulphur the week before bottling.
Bright garnet. The darkest and most approachable of the three 2017 Pinot Noirs, Ray-Monde is filled with the aromas and flavours of black cherry, violet, spice and sweet damp earth. Medium bodied with long, fine, silky tannin it is a very “gourmand” wine. Approachable in youth due to the beautiful balance, the tannic presence and quality suggest it should also age gracefully, gaining additional complexity along the journey.
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