Meet Matt Patterson-Green. He’s winemaker for Jackson Estate, and the hands behind our latest web-exclusive parcel from New Zealand. Matt worked closely with viticulturalist Geoff Woollcombe to craft the Somerset Vineyard Pinot Noir, which he describes as a true expression of vineyard, region and variety. Pinot Noir is – arguably – at its finest when it is allowed to show where it comes from, and this bottle is a very exceptional expression.
Jackson Estate is born from the Stitchbury and Jackson families, who have farmed the land since Adam Jackson bought his first plot in 1855. The iconic gum-tree on the label of every bottle was planted by Adam’s wife Alice in 1867, today standing over 45 metres tall! John Stitchbury, fifth generation of the Jackson family, planted the first vines in 1987 and bottled his first wine in 1991.
Matt has been with Jackson Estate for nine years and sees his role to create “…interesting, polarising and enjoyable wines.” Pinot Noir is something of a passion for Matt, and he has a real interest in how vine age, vineyard selection as well as soil type can influence Pinot in Marlborough. His past saw him work in South Canterbury, Waipara, then as far afield as USA and Germany before returning to New Zealand.
Matt turned out only 228 cases of the Somerset Single-Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011, and we’ve snapped up 200 of them. The rest have stayed in New Zealand, so this really is your only chance to pick up a very unique, very special wine.
You can expect intense red fruits, Matt says, perfumed violet and delicate rose petal aromatics. Concentrated red fruit characters follow through on the palate, he continues, combined with an array of sweet spice and elegant silky tannins which result in a rich, lifted and complex wine.
So here’s a few technical facts for those who are interested:
Vineyards – Hand harvested from the Somerset Vineyard on Waihopai Valley Road. Extremes in climate variance between day and night along with heavy and tightly bound clay soils (1m loam over Waihopai clay/gravel) mean that grapes tend towards full flavour intensity and produce pure and concentrated fruit flavours with outstanding structure and balance.
Weather – 2011 growing season was long with a warm start and early flowering, followed by a cooler than average spell before harvest with some rain, saved by a favourable dry late spell allowing excellent fruit concentration and ripeness.
Vinification – Whole-bunch fermentation in open top tanks. Matured in barrel for 15 months, undergoing natural malolactic fermentation. Bottled August 2012 with no fining or filtration – so all the flavour stays in the wine, though there may be some sediment.
We recommend serving with Wild Mushroom Risotto, and it has the body to stand up to chargrilled venison or duck breast. Given that we’re approaching Spring, lamb would be an excellent meat to pair.
We interviewed Matt last year to find out about his Secret Marlborough – his favourite haunts and all the best places to visit in the famous wine-making region. If you’re looking for a way to get there though, we suggest this: