MOYA MEAKER PINOT NOIR 2021

Winemaker: Jean Smit

Cultivar: 100% Pinot Noir

Origin: Habibi Farm, Elgin

The wine opens with scents of dark roses, red and black cherries, wax crayons, and a feather-light sprinkling of spice. The palate is expansive and mouth-coating, exploding with succulent cherries, wild black plums, and raspberries.

The intense fruit concentration is refreshed by lively blood-orange acidity and has an almost airy quality, as it lifts and sculpts. Cherry pip chewiness on the back palate bends to a fine-textured and silky body; buffering fruit-laden tannins to a long, smooth, and refreshing finish.

Our south-facing slopes were crucial during the 2021 vintage, as the dominant south-easter winds were needed to reduce disease pressure, and maintain that signature Moya Meaker purity and perfume in the fruit.

But aspect aside, 2021 was also a vintage that required tireless attention to detail. Producers who spent regular time in their vineyards were rewarded for their diligence, whereas those who simply waited on sugar levels before harvesting will have struggled in the cellar.

In 2020, leaves fell earlier than normal because of the hot and dry post-harvest conditions. The winter conditions were colder than the previous couple of vintages and Elgin had fantastic winter rains that replenished the water reserves to levels not seen since 2015.

The moderate conditions in early spring led to delayed budbreak (although it was delightfully even), but this was countered by the fact that the Western Cape didn’t get the typical heat spikes during December, January and February. Heat spikes can lead vines to suffer stress, shut down, and stop ripening, but the absence of these spikes meant that we didn’t lose any valuable ripening time, and the vines continued to ripen consistently.

The end result was that most of our vineyards ripened at roughly the same time as usual, despite the later budbreak. There was also no sunburn in the Pinot Noir, as we’ve experienced in other vintages. The 2021 vintage produced Pinot Noir with smaller berries, fantastic concentration and acidity, moderate alcohol, and extremely high quality wine that will last for decades to come.

Moya Meaker’s five blocks of Pinot Noir are stretched across a single south-facing slope in the Elgin Valley. The densely-planted 3.12 hectares of vines were established in 2010; rooted in ancient Bokkeveld shale soils; rich in clay. 

For a long-time, wine pioneers in Elgin worried that red varieties would struggle to ripen in these cool, oft cloud-covered summer days, but through rigorous canopy management, our 667- and 777-clone Pinot Noir vines enjoy an exquisite combination of warm African sun, and the characteristic cool, rolling mist banks.

 

All the grapes were destemmed and gravity fed to tulip-shaped Italian concrete vessels. No pumps were used in this process, so as to ensure that whole berry fermentation was possible. To capture the elegance of the fruit, and avoid excessive extraction, the wine spent just 10 days on skins, with relatively short pump-overs twice per day. 

Malolactic conversion occurred spontaneously in a combination of 2000-litre conical Austrian oak foudre and 300-litre Burgundian oak barrels, 25% of which were new. The wine is matured on its lees for 11 months.

This wine will be at its most expressive within five years of vintage but, with careful cellaring, will continue to evolve and improve for up to a decade.

TOTAL PRODUCTION: 7975 x 750ml and 90 x 1500ml
BOTTLING DATE: 18 January 2022
Origin: Elgin
Alc: 13.11%
pH: 3.47
TA: 4.8 g/L
ES: 1.8 g/L
VA: 0.48 g/L