Celebrating Pinot Noir Day with our two new Central Otago Pinot Noirs!
August 18th marks the date the world officially celebrates the revered Pinot Noir variety and its myriad expressions across all regions, countries and continents. It is auspicious that today we also release our two brand new debut releases from Central Otago.
About the two new Blank Canvas releases:
2018 Blank Canvas 'Anthem' Pinot Noir, Gibbston Valley, Central Otago
We've always loved the elegant, savoury expression of Pinot Noir that is possible in the traditionally cooler Gibbston Valley subregion. In 2018 we were offered a small parcel within the well-established 'Anthem' vineyard. It was a particularly special year - off the charts warm, an earlier ripening season and smaller than average bunch weights. This meant ripeness abound. Seeking elegance and purity we ensured we harvested this Pinot Noir while still very much in the red fruit spectrum, seeking the violet florals and perfume that do disintegrate as the ripeness levels of Pinot climb. Approximately half the hand-picked fruit was tipped into the fermentation vat as whole clusters - assisting lifted perfume and structure, and we crushed the balance over top. Wild fermentation ensued after around 4-5 days. Once dry, it was drained and pressed to oak barrels (~35% new, low toast savoury oak) where it matured for 11 months. It was carefully racked and gently settled again before being bottled without filtration.
The result is a very savoury, sappy expression of Pinot Noir with ample structure and texture which will certainly go the distance in the cellar. We're very excited to have this fantastic single vineyard join our collection of Blank Canvas wines.
2018 Blank Canvas 'Una Volta' Pinot Noir, Queensberry, Central Otago
Una Volta, means 'One Time' in Italian: an apt name for a once-off release, but the Italian etymology also describes the plush, abundant nature of this wine underscored by a rich, velvety texture and structured tannins. It's a world away from the 'Anthem' - being darker in fruit spectrum and more compact in structure and palate weight.
This can be put down to sub-region, vineyard and the year. Queensberry is located on the State Highway between Cromwell and Wanaka and is basically opposite Bendigo on the other side of Lake Dunstan. It's warmer than the Gibbston Valley so tends to have a darker, denser expression of fruit. The year was so extraordinary and the structure so immense that we decided not to use any pressings in this wine with just the free-run going to barrel. A similar savoury, low toast oak regime however ensured that no mocha or coffee sweetness interferes with the innate savouriness of Pinot Noir. As with all our wines we intervene as little as possible, so like the Anthem, this wine was stabilised only with time, bottled without filtration and rested in bottle for 13 months prior to release.
As a duo, these wines display the glorious differences in sub-region, vineyard site and Pinot Noir's stylistic range and we are very excited to release our interpretations of Central Pinot Noir to the world. Having both grown up there - it's a very sentimental release!
Both are now available on our online cellar door shop, and through select restaurants and retailers. For international enquiries, please visit our Distributor page.