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Visually very dark ruby-red colour. The nose is proportioned with aromas of red cherry and concentrated dark-red berry with savoury notes of whole bunch stalk, earth, and dark herbs. Medium-full bodied, the palate is concentrated, with a dense core of dark red fruits (ripe plums and dark cherries) and herbs. There is a firm structure, with fine-grained tannins, balanced with fresh acidity.
Viticulture: This wine was grown from our oldest vines, from our 32 year old Pommard clone vines and from our 27 year old Dijon and Abel clone vines. Our vines were non-irrigated. Our farming methods were organic and sustainable. We controlled undervine weeds with mechanical cultivation and grew crops within the vineyard (such as oats, red clover and lupin) to plough back into the soil for organic vine nutrition. The 2017/2018 growing season in Martinborough was unusual, with extreme heat in Dec 17 & Jan 18 followed by a cooler late summer leading up to picking in Mar 18, so accelerated development early on followed by slow ripening after veraison (early Feb 18). Our vines were low yielding (2.0 ton/acre for 2018 vintage).
Vinification: Picking by hand was completed on 18th March 2018 with sugar levels at 23.2°Brix (average across clones). After careful sorting 30% of the whole bunches were included in the ferment. Cold maceration was held at 7°C for 3 days. Fermented with wild yeasts from the vineyard. Peak fermentation temperature was 27°C. Total on skin contact time 14 days. Matured in French oak barrels (20% new oak) for 11 months. No fining. No filtering.
Zalto Denk-Art Burgundy Glass
The Zalto Burgundy glass is recommended for all Pinot Noirs, designed almost specifically for Pinot’s delicate aromas. The aromas of Pinot Noir are often the most delicate, but when revealed can be the most enticing and pretty. The Zalto Burgundy glass is the widest of all the Zalto glasses providing the largest surface area for wine. This allows for rapid aeration, revealing all of the delicate spice, herb, floral, earth and berry aromas to be maximized. The narrower rim holding these aromas for an unparalleled experience of the elegant subtleties. The Zalto Burgundy is also very good for Nebbiolo, especially Barolo.
"We decided to go 100% with this grape variety with a totally all-or-nothing approach in the vineyard. It really is a situation where if you want the most reward, then you have to take the most risk."
Devotus is the first wine venture of Don McConachy and Valerie Worsdale who upon returning to New Zealand in 2013 purchased the established vineyard with 2 hectares of old Pinot Noir vines planted originally by Neil McCallum of Dry River. The vineyard is in the heart of the Martinborough Terrace, directly next door to Dry River.
When asked 'Why Pinot Noir?' Don replied "Pinot Noir is a high risk grape. Give it only average attention in the vineyard and you will be totally punished as a winemaker. The wine will be boring and mediocre. It does however respond wonderfully to the right treatment. Valerie, my wife, felt the same way, so we decided to go 100% with this grape with a totally all-or-nothing approach in the vineyard. It really is a situation where if you want the most reward, then you have to take the most risk. We could have grown a much easier white grape variety in our vineyard like most other NZ vineyards, yet that would have been a pretty boring, safe and rational decision."
Devotus are based in Martinborough Terraces, a sub region of Martinborough that has been given the seal of origin by the Martinborough Winemakers Association and has also been granted its own appellation in recognition of its distinctive terroir that results in high quality wines that are unique to and reflect the terroir.
Don’s attitude to winemaking and vineyard management is well within the traditional camp adopting a fully “hands-on” approach and applying natural, minimal intervention methods in both the vineyard and the winery. Don is rarely off his vintage tractor or out of the tiny 2 hectare vineyard. Believing that “great wines are made in the vineyard”, Don practices organic farming and with a strong belief in sustainability, ensuring that all natural cover crops are ploughed back into the soil to continue feeding the life cycle of the vineyard. The vineyards are planted with a mix of Pommard and Dijon Clones which account for the particularly Burgundian style to the Devotus wines.
We are delighted to be able to work with Don and Valerie and represent them in the UK. Their tireless attitude towards work is one that we can always relate to. Painstakingly labelling all their bottles by hand or Don’s unrelenting dedication to the highest level of viticulture shows a level of commitment to their passion that speaks in volumes through their wines.
"At the Southern tip of the North Island and a sub-region of Wairarapa is Martinborough. Known for it’s boutique style of winery, Martinborough’s production is dominated by Pinot Noir characterised by its balance between elegance and intensity"
At the Southern tip of the North Island and a sub-region of Wairarapa is Martinborough. Known for it’s boutique style of winery, Martinborough’s production is dominated by Pinot Noir characterised by its balance between elegance and intensity, evident in the wines of Devotus. As well as Pinot Noir, plantings of several other varieties that reach their full potential in Martinborough’s climate are also found including Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay, Viognier and Syrah, producers like Dry River are a great example of the quality these varieties can reach. Martinborough has a semi-maritime climate with coastal breezes coming from the east and shelter within the rain shadow of the Tararua Ranges resulting in a cool, dry climate.
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