The Abyss Pinot Noir 2013


Churton’s exceptional hillside vineyard above the Waihopai Valley was first planted in 2000 with a European approach, close vine spacing and high density (approx. 5,000/ha). The vineyard is biodynamically farmed and is certified organic.  The Abyss has our oldest vines, planted 15 years ago. It is the highest block and has a great exposure to the east with a 15% slope facing the early morning sun.  The cool early morning sun allows the vines to ripen the fruit slowly without the harsh intensity of the hot afternoon sun. At the end of the slope is a precipitous cliff dropping 50 metres down to the Omaka River. Following a very good summer which was cool but very sunny we picked exceptional fruit from The Abyss on the 30th of March. The yield was very low at 22hl/ha.


Downloadable Tasting Notes

Churton The Abyss Pinot Noir 2013 Fact Sheet A4


As usual the fruit was hand-picked into 14 kg bins, transported to the winery and de-stemmed. A large proportion of whole berries were transferred to open fermenters. Fermentation is always through indigenous yeasts and started naturally after about 6 days of maceration.  When fermentation started the tanks were gently plunged twice a day. This was followed by a long slow post ferment maceration of 14 days, producing a wine with supple tannins and fine length of fruit. The wine was aged for 18 months in new (30%) and used French piece Bourguignon. Racked twice and bottled in October 2014.


Wine Analysis

Alcohol 13.5
Titratable Acidity 5.2 g/l
Residual grape sugar <1 g/l
pH 3.83

Tasting Notes

A complex wine that has power but delicacy, complexity and savouriness. The wine has a beautifully complex bouquet of earth, spice, musk rose and black cherry fruit. The palate is layered with black fruit, earthy and tarry elements, combined with complex flower aromas. It is textured and silky with long persistence of flavour and fine tannin texture, making for great ageing potential.


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