Mahi Marlborough Pinot Noir 2020
Mahi, meaning ‘our work, our craft’, began in 2001, fulfilling a dream of ours. After 15 vintages it was time to do our own thing. With a strong focus on single-vineyard wines, and now backed up by a series of premium regional wines from Marlborough, the idea behind Mahi is to respect and promote the individuality of the various vineyards.
The Mahi symbol represents the strength, life, and growth of the native New Zealand frond (fern), with the understanding that wine should never be rushed to bottle, respecting its ability to evolve naturally over time.
2020 Mahi Marlborough Pinot Noir
A full and rich bouquet, this wine is mouth filling, ripe and supple with good complexity. Dark cherries and plums combine with soft tannins to give a wellrounded finish.
Varieties: Pinot Noir
Winegrowing team: Brian Bicknell, Pat Patterson, Phoebe Cathcart, our focussed growers, and brilliant vintage staff
Titratable Acidity: 5.4 g/L
Residual Sugar: <1.0 g/L
Harvest Period: 21 - 30 March
Brix at Harvest: 23.0 – 24.8
This wine comes from four vineyards throughout Marlborough, all lending different characters to the wine. The Twin Valleys portion from the cooler Fareham Road area gives us the palate structure that we require, offering finesse to the back-palate. Fruit from the southern valleys gave mid-palate texture and the portion from Ward, approximately 45 kilometres south of Blenheim, providing great depth to the palate, with rich black fruit characters.
In the winery the grapes were predominantly destemmed before going to small vats for cold soaking prior to fermentation, allowing the extraction of soft tannins and colour at the juice stage rather than in the harsher alcoholic stage during and after fermentation. About 20% were fermented with stems or whole-bunch solely with indigenous yeasts offering a wide variety of flavours and helping us to attain better texture.
During fermentation the skins and juice were hand-plunged on average two times per day. When finished the wine was taken straight to French barriques where it sat for 15 months. The wine was then gently racked, blended, and bottled unfiltered and unfined.
This year, which was the 20th vintage of Mahi, started two weeks later than 2019, on March the 20th, but finished only one day later, with our last lot of fruit coming in on April 9th, so for Mahi it was one of our most condensed vintages.
A vintage we will never forget as picking and winemaking were partly dictated by Covid-19. While it was difficult to work the ‘virus vintage’ (and we are hoping that it will be the only one?!) the overall vintage was saved by having such great growing and picking weather.
Rainfall through the period of December 21through to April 7 was only 20mm, which is a record low over that essential period for us and the temperatures through the season were the closest that we have had to the ‘normal’ for quite a few years. The cooler ripening compared to some recent warmer years has given us some intense fruit flavours, nice acidities, and elegant structures.
Again, this year we had a great multi-cultural team with people from China, India, the US, Ireland, and NZ, and even though we didn’t see as much of each other as normal it worked well and is not a vintage we will forget.