Pfeiffer Pinot Noir
As you know, our Pinot Noir vines are the oldest on our Sunday Creek vineyard. They have had the hardest life, beginning with their trip here, originally from Burgundy in France. They have suffered through many, many floods, times of great stress through drought, and like we humans, they continue to age. They have become very gnarled and nobbly, some have not responded to all the love and affection heaped upon them and have given up their zest for life, while others are “soldiering on”, but struggling more and more as the years go by.
For some, the final straw was the severe frost in the Spring of 2013. For us, that terrible event caused 90% of the entire crop of Pinot Noir to be scorched and lost. The frost at that very sensitive time of the year, is like a blow torch on the vines.
At first we realised we had lost the potential crop. Little did we realise, the frost damage had burnt the nodes back into the arms of the vine, so once again, the following year, we only had a tiny crop. We had to make some tough decisions. We needed our Pinot Noir for our Sparkling Pfizz Red and we needed it for our much loved and hard to access, Pinot Noir as one of our red wines.
Time for the drum roll “pfolks”. At the hands of my clever winemakers, Chris and Jen, we have used several vintages of these precious grapes to make the Pfizz Red, newly released in this our Spring 2016 newsletter and from 2015 vintage, we made a small quantity of our red wine Pinot Noir. “Yay”! I hear you say. The sad thing is, there is very little of it, so again, we have decided to sell the wine without having it available for tasting at the cellar door. This way we can stretch it out for longer so “those in the know”, end up getting some.
However, the story doesn’t end there. Despite all our efforts, the vines continue to decline. The cost of maintaining them is enormous for the small volume of wine we are able to make. I am pleading and begging that we keep on trying to revive the remaining vines, so we can keep on producing our very unique style of Pinot Noir from these very “pfamous” or rather, infamous Pinot Noir vines. I know those of you who know our Pinot Noir from past vintages are supporting me with my pleas.
Recently, I was sorting through my recipe books and deciding that the ones I have loved and used over and over again, the ones that are falling apart and are splattered with food and cooking stains are the ones I will keep. The others in pristine condition are hopefully on their way to a new home via our local Op Shop.
In amongst my cookbooks, I found a sheet we had created on our “pfamous” Pinot Noir vines, many years ago. I had already decided I would tell you about Pinot Noir in this newsletter so when I found this sheet, it clinched the story for this letter to you. On the sheet that was neatly tucked inside one of my cookbooks, were two quotes from people who had been kind enough to write to us commenting on the Pinot Noir they had purchased from us many years ago. I am flattering myself, or rather, Chris and Jen, as the winemakers, by repeating their messages here…plus it might help my begging and pleading!
“I have just opened my Pinot Noir to have with dinner and it is really one of the best wines I have ever drunk. I would not have expected Pinot Noir to come out so well in your climate and I recall other wineries in the area trying it and giving up because it is a difficult wine to make”.- Gordon Mitchell October 2007.
“This evening I have had the pleasure of sharing a 2001 Pfeiffer Pinot Noir. I am not a wine expert, but I consider it one of the best wines I have ever tasted”.- John Franze 2008.
And John cellared the wine for 7 years before sharing it which is a testament to the specialness of the wine and our style.
I am also sharing the recipe which was also printed on this now “pfamous” piece of paper. The recipe for Roasted Lamb Shanks came from other customers of Pfeiffer Wines, Greg and Anne Felsch and has now become a “pfirm Pfeiffer pfamily pfavourite”, naturally accompanied by and absolutely delicious with this, our new release of our Pfeiffer 2015 Pinot Noir.
I do hope you enjoy the wine and the roasted lamb shanks as much as we do.