Rockburn started as the hobby of Richard Bunton in 1991. He planted a few hectares of vineyard in the then pretty much unknown area of Central Otago. In 2005, Malcolm Francis the winemaker, arrived from Felton Road where his skills immediately reaped the rewards when he won the Elite Gold Medal. This is a very exciting new arrival on the world Pinot Noir stage.
Rockburn takes its name from the rugged, rock-strewn, burn scarred landscape of Central Otago. Situated on the 45th parallel, Rockburn shares a climate that is similar to Burgundy. The vineyards are surrounded by mountains to the west, whose seaward slopes are rainforest, receiving 5,000mm of rain per annum. To the east is a barren, moon-like landscape that receives less than 25mm rain per year. Situated between these extremes, lay the Rockburn vineyards, which are producing Pinot Noir of stunning quality. The vines are grown in two sites: 83% comes from Parkburn, where the soil is 10- 15cm loam over river gravel; and 17% from Gibbston, with 40cm topsoil over alluvial gravel soils. The vines are Pinot Noir clones: 10/5, 5,6, Abel, 667 and 777 and they are trained according to the Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP) system.
The grapes were cool macerated for between one and four days, prior to fermentation which took place in seven tonne fermenters and lasted for one week, with daily plunging. Post-fermentation maceration lasted between 10 and 14 days, in order to extract the desired levels of colour, tannins and aromatics. Some batches included whole bunches, adding complexity. The wine was 100% barrel aged for 10 months in French oak, of which 33% was new and 18% was one-year old.
Expressive aromas lead to a deeply fruity palate displaying notes of red and black cherry layered with rich notes of mocha. Supple, silky tannins envelop the smooth palate through to a long finish. This wine shows classic Rockburn elegance, integrity and balance.
Pinot Noir 100%.
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