We were careful to preserve freshness and elegance in this wine (as we did for the Chardonnay), as a direct response to the heat and drought stress up to harvest. Its colour is a rich ruby with a lively hue. The nose is aromatic, with floral red berry and sweeter blackberry notes combined with an underlying nutty character. The palate is intense but elegant - red and black berry flavours encapsulated in firm but notably silky tannins which mask an underlying concentration and power that could take several years to become fully revealed. The wine is a stylistic synthesis of what we developed in '95 to '97 - with its ripe fruit tannin structure - but with a more complex spectrum of flavours aided in part by the unique conditions of the '98 season and tiny berry sizes of the crop. It is better consumed after some cellaring and I expect it to be one of our more long-lived Pinots.
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