About the wine
The Bell Hill Pinot Noir is a complete barrel selection from the entire vineyard the Shelf, Quarry (10/5 & Rootlings), Slope, Roadblock, and Westbank. All blocks were 100% destemmed giving a high number of whole berries. The ferments had 21 to 28 days on skins with cold pre-ferment and warm post-ferment macerations. After basket pressing, the wine went into 100% new French oak, it was racked and blended after 12 months and had 6 months in tank before bottling.
Complex nose with lifted aromatics of exotic florals, violet and red fruit. Savoury hints of sandalwood and spice with underlying earthy and dried herb notes. The palate is dynamic and detailed, first impressions being of elegance and taut, linear length with fine chalky tannins that unfold to reveal a silken texture with a plushness of volume extending the length, focusing the fruit and floral aspects of the aromatics onto the finish.
About the producer
Bell Hill itself, so named for its bell-like shape on its southern side, was first surveyed in 1917 by Charles Trounce, who went on to establish a lime quarry that operated until the late 1930s. However, the history of the area goes back much further than that. Maori first explored Weka Pass around 1,000 years ago, when the area was still forested and rich in birdlife. A large overhanging limestone shelter in the pass was used as a temporary overnight camp and early Maori rock art decorates its walls.
Bell Hill Vineyard, so named for the bell-like shape on the southern side of its hill, was established in 1997 by Marcel Giesen and Sherwyn Veldhuizen. Situated in an ancient, north-facing limestone quarry in Waikari (adjacent to Weka Pass Historic Reserve), North Canterbury, the vineyard now covers 2 hectares of high-density plantings. The Weka Pass area was previously unplanted with grapes, but Marcel and Sherwyn were drawn to the pure chalky limestone soils and calcareous clays. With a delicate touch and focus on excellence, Marcel and Sherwyn are passionate about using Burgundian techniques to craft their stunning range of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines.
The ‘Roadblock’ and ‘Slope’ vineyard blocks are rich in dense, calcareous clays bringing another influence to their wines. Marcel and Sherwyn have been farming organically and biodynamically since the 2007/ 2008 growing season and see this as paramount to increased soil and vine health, as well as fruit quality and expression. The Bio-Gro Organic Certification was granted on 1 March 2015.
All wines are under screwcap closures and decanting recent vintages is to be encouraged, including Chardonnay.