The Icon series represents years of research into specific viticulture techniques, particular attention to vineyard sites and a winemaking strategy focused on fruit structure and balance. The fruit for the wine was sourced from the Awatere, Waihopai and Wairau valleys, where the vines are grown on a combination of alluvial stony soils and silty loams.
The grapes were harvested and destemmed, then lightly crushed, allowing for some whole berries. Prior to fermentation, the grapes underwent cold maceration, a process where the must was cooled and kept at 10 degrees Celsius for between five and ten days. Cold maceration is utilized to promote extraction of color and flavors from the skins. Primary fermentation took place in small, stainless steel tanks, with a small portion of the grapes allowed to ferment with indigenous yeast and the balance inoculated with active dry yeast. The ferments were irrigated at four hourly intervals over ten days, with temperatures peaking into a mix of new and seasoned French oak barrels to undergo full malolactic fermentation and twelve months maturation.
The Icon Marlborough Pinot Noir is warm, rich and mouthfilling, with excellent palate weight. Flavors of ripe blackberries, cherries and plums overlay a firm tannin structure, with earthy, cigar box characters providing complex secondary flavors. Showing good length, the wine lingers with a spicy finish.