Helen's Hill First Light Pinot Noir Yarra Valley 2015
Single Vineyard, Single Clone, Single Focus.
Made entirely from the MV6 clone, our First Light Reserve Pinot Noir truly reflects the unique characteristics of Australia’s very own Pinot Noir clone. (the MV6 clone was propagated in Griffiths, MV stands for Mother Vine, The original vines were propagated from cuttings from the famed Clos Vougeot vineyard in France’s Burgundy region.) The vines that produce the 'First Light' were planted in 1980, so are well into their 3rd decade, and as such require minimal work with regard to monitoring fruit loads. By the very fact that they are aged means that they are by nature low yielding and consistently express both varietal and terroir characteristics with the minimum of fuss.
In terms of flavour profile, the MV6 clone is famous for the deep cherry and dark strawberry characters with hints of spice. Firm tannins but more back palate orientated. Unlike the Pommard clone that expresses meaty, gamey characters, the MV6 clone has a more savoury tone to its flavour profile. Dried fruits, herbs and spice. A more elegant and complex nose and palate. Like the Pommard clone, the MV6 Reserve Pinot Noir will benefit from a few years in the cellar.
A deep burnished red in colour, typical of the MV6 clone, this wine is subtle at first, as dark bramble fruits and strawberries and a hint of spice draw you in. Savoury and complex, its length is a standout as dried fruits, Yarra earthy tones and spices linger on the palate for what seems like forever.
Colour - Deep ruby red.
Aroma - Red fruits, earthiness and spices.
Palate - Intense dark fruits, powerful tannins.
2015 Vintage Report
Moderate rainfall throughout spring, along with warm spring temperatures, led to good yields. Flowering conditions were nigh on perfect and these conditions followed through into fruit set in early January. Warm but not extreme temperatures continued into summer and meant a very early start to harvest. A dry March, with cool overnight temperatures, kept disease pressure low and allowed grapes to retain excellent natural acidity.
Once the fruit has reached the perfect balance of acidity, sugar levels and flavour, it is immediately hand picked. From there, we de-stem and lightly crush the fruit to maintain a percentage of whole berries for open top fermentation. This Pinot spends between 10 on skins, with daily gentle pump overs to increase structure and aromatics. It is then pressed off and racked into French oak barrels (40% new oak) for 11 months to mature.
Singe Vineyard, single clone, single focus. Our Single Clone Reserve Pinot Noirs speak to everything we are as vignerons and winemakers. We are cool climate producers, and this is the pinnacle of our craft. Sourced from ‘old vines’ planted in 1983 and our most easterly block of vines. As such the first block to be touched by the ‘first light’ of dawn each morning. Made entirely from the MV6 pinot clone, our First light pinot noir truly reflects the unique characteristics of Australia’s very own pinot noir clone.