The centre of the Foggy Hill north-western slope planted in 2003 to Dijon Pinot Noir clones 115 and 777, ripens grapes to a greater fruit intensity and deeper colour than the rest of the vineyard. The centre of slope that we have named the Definitus block is harvested separately and produces a special wine, still Foggy Hill but defined by its location on the hill.
In the Definitus block the underlying ferricrete sandstone is very close to the soil surface, restricting the size of the vines and their crop load. Hence the grapes ripen more uniformly and to a greater intensity.
The 2019 Definitus is the third release of this special wine. The various other blocks of the rest of Foggy Hill complement one another to produce the unique and typical terroir expression that defines Foggy Hill Pinot Noir.
2019 vintage was the last in a sequence of above average temperature vintages from 2006 to 2019, the only cooler exceptions being 2009, 2011 and 2015.
At Foggy Hill, 2019 was warmer than average with a growing season heat summation (HDD) of 1507°C days exceeding the average of 1307°C days. However, there were no heat waves.
Nights were a strong contributor to the elevated growing season heat and that was a plus for quality. As well as being warm, 2019 was dry, with 72% of normal rainfall during the growing season. Fruit set in late November in cool and damp conditions established a small crop that required no fruit thinning.
In 2019 Foggy Hill delivered disease free, thoroughly ripe fruit in perfect condition at moderate sugar levels. The crop level was ideal at 5.5 tonnes/hectare. The 2019 Definitus Foggy Hill Pinot Noir was harvested on the 9th of March, which is a week ahead of the normal harvest window.
The hand harvested Pinot Noir fruit from the Definitus block of the Foggy Hill Vineyard was delivered to the Tapanappa Winery in the Piccadilly Valley.
There 15% of chilled whole bunches was placed in the bottom of each 0.8 tonne fermentation tub. The tubs were topped with chilled destemmed and crushed must and allowed a two-day cold soak beginning at 2°C, then inoculated with our own grown yeast strain and allowed to ferment to a maximum temperature of 33°C with daily hand plunging of the cap. The whole bunches at the bottom of the tubs were progressively crushed to release their sugar.
At the end of fermentation after 16 days, the Definitus tubs were sealed to allow 5 days of maceration on skins then pressed to barriques (one third new) with an inoculation of a malolactic bacterial strain. After malo-lactic fermentation on full lees, Definitus was racked and returned to barrique for maturation. After 10 months in barrique Definitus was clear racked in December of 2019 and blended ready for bottling on the 14th of February 2020.
The in-bottle analysis is:
Total Acid 5.4 gpl
SO2 102 ppm
Volatile Acid 0.66 gpl
Alcohol 13.0% v/v.
Winemaker BRIAN CROSER
The Taste of the Wine
2019 Definitus Foggy Hill Pinot Noir is an “intense expression of the unique Definitus Foggy Hill vineyard site”.
The wine is translucent with a deep carmine hue. The aroma is of ripe plums and blue berry fruits with the faint spice of stalks. The oak provides a complexing but muted Chinese 5 spice bouquet and all of this is reflected in the flavour of the wine. At a modest alcohol of 13.0%, the flavours are expressed without the interference of alcohol.
The flavours are rich, ripe and lively and the tannins firm but rounded. 2019 Tapanappa Definitus Pinot Noir is the reflection of the perfectly ripe fruit from which it was made and is a “typical expression of the unique Foggy Hill terroir.”