2018 is the fourth vintage of our flagship Pinot Noir from our estate Senchuk Vineyard, and certainly the richest, and most full-bodied so far. The 2018 growing season stayed warm throughout, with some very hot and humid spells. There were some significant rains in the fall immediately prior to harvest that proved challenging. However, with good vineyard management and a lot of work sorting, the Pinot Noir from Senchuk Vineyard came in beautifully ripe, with amazing mature skins and seeds and the moderate alcohol and relatively high acidity that our site is known for.
Hand-picked and hand-sorted on September 24, the grapes were partly de-stemmed (60% destemmed, 40% whole-cluster), partially crushed and left to soak on skins prior to fermentation. After 3 days, fermentation occurred spontaneously in small open-top fermenters. During fermentation, the skins were punched-down by hand 2 times per day. Once fermentation was finished, the wine remained on skins for 5 days before being gently pressed. It was then transferred to French oak barrels (50% new, 20% 1-year-old, 30% older) and aged for 18 months. The 2018 Senchuk Pinot Noir was bottled on August 21, 2020.
The density, body, structure and balance of this wine remain unparalleled. While some of the warmth and richness of the vintage is present, the signature high acidity, and green/leafy/herbal components are still brought forward by our very cool site. The nose mixes pomegranate, mulberry, candy-cane beets and moss in equal measure, with thyme and anise layering over a background of mushrooms fried in butter. On the palate the wine unfolds even more showing rose-petal, tan-leather, pancetta backed by tobacco, sweet-basil and underbrush. Leaning towards full-bodied with loads of core structure and tannin, it is still quite fresh and vibrant with excellent acidity and tannin that will easily help it last for a decade. This wine continues to amaze us and shows why we took the chance 10 (?!) years ago to try to make world-class wine on the edge of Niagara in the town of Winona.
Total Production: 135 cases