Garagiste Merricks Cuve Béton Pinot Noir 2018
Cuve Béton means concrete tank and this new bottling was fermented and raised in a single, sealable 5000-litre concrete vessel from the Italian tank maker Nico Velo.
Garagiste winemaker Barney Flanders first experimented with this tank in 2017, finding a noticeable difference in the finished wine - the concrete-raised Pinot displayed more freshness and a different tannin profile. Obviously the vessel's gentle transfer of oxygen and the cooler thermal mass of the juice during fermentation makes a difference.
The fruit comes from a key parcel of Merricks Grove, and the fruit was entirely destemmed and fermented wild, spending four weeks on skins. It was bottled unfiltered.
This is a noticeably more structured, minerally tasting wine that Flanders has produced with deliciously crunchy red fruits and loads of spices that leap from the glass and flood the palate. There is impressive structure from the long maceration but it's oh so fine with powdery, talc-like tannins running the length of the palate.