This is the second Corofin release from Sam and Mandy Weaver’s Churton Vineyard, which spans a ridgeline bordering the Waihopai Valley and Omaka’s high country. Specifically, it comes from 0.5 hectares of the northerly ‘Clod Block’, a northeast facing terrace planted around 20 years ago. Managed organically (Bio Gro), the Clod is one of seventeen blocks that make up the undulating Churton site. It’s the most inland and southern site that Corofin source from. With less maritime influence than the Cowley and Settlement site, the location, altitude and North East orientation also make this Corofin’s most ‘marginal’ vineyard. It’s often picked some ten days after Cowley. Another point of difference is the soil here – this parcel has plenty of gravel running through the clay. The clones are 777 and 5. Mike notes that the 2016’s lifted red fruits are not typical of a site that tends to normally throw more brooding aromatics. It’s also more detailed and elegant than last year’s release although the vineyard’s signature palate length tannins, (a feature that make’s the Churton an obvious candidate for the cellar), is there as always. Overall this is a wonderfully poised Pinot of great finesse. The fruit spectrum is all wild berries, brown spice and red florals and the finish is long and unbelievably seductive. Just a wonderful Pinot full stop. Winemaking notes: Four days in sealed tanks as whole berries, then foot trodden, natural ferment, 16 days on skins, pressed to old barrel; spontaneous malolactic in the late spring/early summer with the wine remaining on original lees for 13 months; racked to tank for six months, before being bottled without fining or filtration in mid-November 2017.