2021 Halcyon Days Mangatahi, Hawke’s Bay
We always dreamed of making Pinot Noir but never thought we’d get it right in Hawke’s Bay. Until the 2021 vintage, that is. We made our Mangatahi Pinot Noir with a view to blending it in with our Syrah- based Luz. We both really like whole-bunch fermentation of those varieties and that’s what we did with our Pinot Noir pick.
The problem was…it tasted absolutely fantastic on its own. Even early on, after we’d pressed off the skins and the wine was going through malolactic fermentation, we knew we had something pretty special. So we pulled off enough to fill a small, 700 litre tank and bottled it in the winter, as a 100% Pinot Noir. The remainder went into the Luz, as planned. And that’s it. As any Pinot lover will tell you, it’s not really about the grape, it’s about the place. And this place is Mangatahi – a subregion of the Ngaruroro River, further inland from (and cooler than) Bridge Pa but with similar, ancient riverbed soils and terraces. It’s a young-release wine, but we think it rises above that pigeonhole a bit. We think the cooler spot (where on some days the Kaweka ranges look so close they seem a short hike away), the ancient riverbed terraces, and the crystalline sunlight, are all present in this wine.