Testify Pinot Noir 2019
Testify Pinot Noir 2019
Testify is a wine that is only produced in the best of vintages.
Just four barrels make up this wine; a selection of the best clones and rows in the Martinborough vineyard Daniel’s been working with for 10 years. The intimate knowledge of the site and the magic of a brilliant season provided the fruit for what Daniel thinks might just be the best wine of his career to date. On the nose there’s an overt smokiness that rewards decanting in the first few years after release. This opens to a concerto of florals backed by wet earth, forest floor, mushroom, and a delightful marshmallow note. The palate flows seamlessly with long silken tannins and intense plum and red berry flavours.
A delicate beauty of our best efforts from a graceful vintage in Martinborough. This is that special occasion wine; pair it with a confit duck or tuck away for the next 7 years, your patience will be rewarded.
This single vineyard wine was produced from a dry-farmed, organically farmed block with a unique soil structure for Martinborough with clay over top of free draining old riverbeds. Slightly more elevated than the typical river terrace soils than most of Martinborough, this vineyard has great exposure with a northeast aspect. The vines are planted in mostly Dijon clones of 667, 777, 114 and 115, with a few rows of UCD Clone 5, half of which are planted on their own rootstock.
All the fruit was hand sorted and a variety of vinification vats were filled, ranging from 5 to 40% whole bunch ferments where they cold soaked for a few days before naturally warming. Most ferments went ‘wild’ with indigenous yeasts and some were inoculated with some organic yeast strains. After fermentation the wine was macerated on skins for an additional 10 to 21 days. They were then pressed in a small basket press, settled in tank and then put to French barriques, again separated by clone. The barrels were kept cold and topped over winter. In the spring, the barrels were allowed to warm up and go through secondary (malolactic) fermentation, afterwhich a very reasonable amount of sulphur was added to the barrels and once again they were kept cold in the cellar through summer.
This 2019 vintage I was particularly impressed with the Clone 115 and have been since, during the warmer seasons. So this is 50% clone 115 with the balance a blend of 667 and 777 clones. So while I had my eye on certain clones and their ferments, I still only chose 4 barrels to make the final blend of this Testify wine. In the end it was only 1161 bottles were produced of this special wine.
“Dense, dark, funky and earthy with a sweet, silky palate and supple tannins,” said Ant, and Mike agreed, adding that its smoky masculinity and power really packs a punch and makes it instantly impressive, while its “lovely dark plum, cherry and cassis intensity and velvety textures” had John at the first sip. An excellent example.