Garagiste Terre De Feu Pinot Noir 2017 (Mornington Peninsula, Victoria) "...finesse, perfume, intensity..."
Cropped from a specific ½ acre plot of the Merricks Grove vineyard, Terre de Feu (land of fire) takes its name from the vein of pure, red ferrosol in the soil here. Winemaker Barney Flanders had noticed the vines, whose roots plunged into this subsoil, were producing slightly smaller bunches, therefore yielding greater depth and concentration in the resulting wine. Thus the rationale for the 100% whole bunch ferment; Terre de Feu remains Garagiste's first and only full stems Pinot, and it's a beauty.
The grapes were hand sorted twice, firstly in the vineyard and again in the winery on a sorting table. Then it was 100% whole bunched in a small open fermenter, with native yeasts allowed to work their magic and the wine spending a significant 28 days on skins and stems. Gentle cap management, predominantly with light foot treading, lead to pressing off to two 300-litre François Frères hogsheads (one of which was new).
The wine was bottled unfiltered after ten months on fine lees. Only 90 cases were made in total. It's a wonderful expression of Merricks with great finesse, perfume and intensity.