Kusuda Pinot Noir 2018
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Hiro Kusuda is one of NZ wine’s more enigmatic producers.
A man obsessed with quality and precision, his Pinot Noir is widely regarded amongst the top examples that Martinborough produces. Every berry is hand selected, the winemaking is gentle yet attention to detail is second to none. Red cherry unveil from the feminine nose, a beautiful fragrance builds with anticipation. now slightly musky, cedar nuances. Delicate savoury hints of toast and cured meat follow but there remains a deep, concentrated ball of ripe cherry fruit at its centre. The level of attention to fruit and balance is mind blowing.
85% destemmed, cold soaked for 6 to 12 days. Fermented in open stainless-steel vats with pumping-over and hand plunging, total period of maceration 17 to 25 days. Aged in French (31.6% new) oak barriques for 16 months. Unfined and bottled with coarse filtration.
From the high-density block (majority 7400 plants/ha) we started to lease in 2011 then purchased after the 2015 vintage. Dry spring followed by very warm summer with the wetter than usual February. It was tricky to find the balance between the rising sugar level and the tannin maturity. Only 4940 bottles produced.
Hiro Kusuda is something of an enigma.
This reclusive master winemaker has built his reputation on crafting some of the most exhilarating wines in the Martinborough region. Astoundingly, during harvest, each berry is hand-picked at optimal ripeness, such is the meticulous nature with which he composes his wines.
Most noted for his sublime Pinot Noir, the Riesling and Syrah both show the architecture of a true craftsman at work. These wines are extremely rare. If you value detail and precision in your wine, Hiro’s creations are often transcendent and are an experience to taste and drink.
Although a small region, there’s no doubt about the fact Martinborough packs a punch. Producing some of New Zealand’s most acclaimed wines and garnering a large following. The regions first vines were planted back in 1883. It wasn’t until 1970 that heads started to turn and Martinborough was competing on the world stage.
Martinborough Wine Selection
The region features a diverse selection of wines. But the silt loam and gravelly sub-soils of the Martinborough Terrace ensure pinot noir and sauvignon blanc grapes flourish.
The areas three sub-regions; Martinborough, Masterton and Gladstone and have similar grape varieties planted, but the differing terroir of each brings out unique flavours. The Wairarapa makes up 3% of New Zealand’s total production. This number is contributed to the fact vineyard yields in the area below the national average, this alone is a large contributor to the regions success.
While Martinborough is a small colonial village with many of the producers in the area being family owned and run. Only a short drive north of New Zealand’s’ capital city Wellington, the area is well situated as has earned the reputation as the wine hub of the Wairarapa. Gladstone is a little south of Masterton, Wairarapa’s largest town and is one of the fastest growing wine regions in the country. Luckily for us, it has plenty of room to grow!
Climate of the Area
Wairarapa is one of the coolest and driest areas in the north island. With climate and soil conditions similar to that of Burgundy, it’s no surprise that the wines produced in the area are some of New Zealand’s finest.