Previous Vintages

All of our wines are estate grown at Bell Hill and go back to our first four vintages of Old Weka Pass Road Pinot Noir from 1999 to 2002 before our inaugural Bell Hill Pinot Noir 2003 vintage and Bell Hill Chardonnay 2004 vintage.

 

 

2008 VINTAGE

The 2008 season was quite moderate, we had few frosts and the flowering was very successful from a crop point of view due to very hot weather in December and January.  Towards the end of the season in February we had some significant rain and as the canopy was still vegetative it slowed down veraison progression for a couple of weeks, warm weather in March saw us catch this up with harvest commencing on the 18th of April. The Shelf Chardonnay was harvested on the 18th of April (21.6 Brix, 3.20pH, 10.2g/L TA) and the Shelf Pinot Noir was picked on the 21st (25 Brix, 3.57pH, 5.78g/L TA).  The Limeworks Pinot Noir was harvested on the 22nd of April (25 Brix, 3.52pH, 5.89g/L TA) followed by the Quarry Block which was harvested in two parts on the 25th (23.5 Brix, 3.33pH, 9.3g/L TA) and 26th (23.5 Brix, 3.47pH, 7.39g/L TA).  The Limeworks Chardonnay was harvested on the 28th of April (22 Brix, 3.22pH, 9.94g/L TA). We invested in a new Armbruster Rotovib De-stemmer for the 2008 vintage and this gave us a very gentle de-stemming of the fruit, so gentle that we had an extraordinary amount of whole berries not seen at Bell Hill before and therefore the Pinot Noirs have an elegance and finesse about them due to the lighter extraction process.  These wines have been building nicely with time.

 

 

BELL HILL
PINOT NOIR 2008

The 2008 Bell Hill Pinot Noir is a six barrel selection from the Shelf, Limeworks and the upper part of the Quarry.  Each of these portions were harvested, fermented and aged in barrels separately.  The Pinot Noir was 100% de-stemmed and had 28 days on skins with a cold pre-ferment and a warm post-ferment maceration.  The oak was French and 100% new and the wine was racked and blended after twelve months in barrel.  It was bottled on the 8th of December 2009 with a pH of 3.55, TA of 5.8g/L and alcohol of 13.5%.  Approximately 1780 bottles were produced.

Deep spice and fruit scent, not as open as the OWPR but with plenty to reveal in time. Concentrated entry with lots of layers, good acidity holding the core together, texturally – an even layer washes over the palate with intriguing finesse and power. This vintage has been a sleeper and only gradually reveals itself, keeping us guessing as bystanders. The 2008 has charm, power and an ethereal elegance and lightness despite a firm structural backbone. This is a mile-stone for Bell Hill and we look forward to its continued development over time.


BELL HILL
CHARDONNAY 2008

The 2008 Chardonnay is a three barrel blend (one of which was new) from the Shelf and Limeworks and underwent 100% malolactic fermentation.  It spent 12 months in barrel and was bottled on the 13th of October 2009 with a pH of 3.27, TA of 6.5g/L and alcohol of 13%.  Approximately 850 bottles were produced.

Very clear minerality on the nose, showing elegant fruit with white flower and citrus blossom notes. Hints of fennel and wet stones come through restrained wood spice. Bright acidity gives the wine focus and backbone, lending elegance and allowing the mineral and fruit characters a framework to hang on to and expand in the mouth. A firmly wound wine with delicate fruit that would benefit from decanting.  The finish of the palate has positive lees influence and an oyster shell impression.


OLD WEKA PASS ROAD
PINOT NOIR 2008

The 2008 Old Weka Pass Road Pinot Noir is a five barrel selection from the lower part of the Quarry Block (Dijon clones and 10/5).  The wine was 100% de-stemmed and had 23 days on skins with a cold pre-ferment and a warm post-ferment maceration.  The oak was French (60% new) and the wine was racked and blended after twelve months in barrel.  It was bottled on the 8th of December 2009 with a pH of 3.65, TA of 5.7g/L and alcohol of 13.5%.  Approximately 1620 bottles were produced.

Bright open nose of perfume/spice with a clear note of red fruits, very precise in its delivery. Soft wine with elegance and easy appeal initially, then fruit and body deliver a focused palate with tension and salty minerals with a floral/spice complex. Still quite young in appeal, structurally the tannin is part of the flesh of the wine and it is finished with good concentration.