• Vintage 2016

  • Vineyard

    Early bud burst, perfect fruit-set, then a dry and warm ripening to harvest.

  • Harvest

    South: hand picked from in twelve middle rows on 2nd March, 2016.
    West: hand picked eight middle rows on 2nd March, 2016.

  • Winery

    South fruit and West fruit kept separated. Whole bunch and whole berries natural ferment for both. Handplunged. Bottled under Diam cork July 2017. South 13.4% alc/vol. West 13.3% alc/vol. Release date 2nd August, 2018.

Winemaker Notes

Nine One Six seemed to be in a world of its own in vintage 2016. This was quite an anomalous vintage for the Yarra Valley in general terms. A warm, dry spring led to early but evenbudburst, and a warm, dry summer saw one of the earliest harvests on record across theregion, with many producers finishing harvest by early March before Easter! Unusual inits own right, but it was even an early Easter!

Perplexingly, however, the harvest date at Nine One Six was only a week out from the same harvest date in 2015, perhaps reflective of the vineyard’s distinct location and mesoclimate. The vintage presented challenges when it came to balancing phenolic maturity with a rapid boost in sugar accumulation. Waiting patiently for tannins to fully mature and for the full range of flavour to develop was critical; and getting the balance right with

capturing natural acids in the grapes. Tricky indeed, and a real balancing act - harvest timing was absolutely key. The rewards for getting the harvest timing right were significant. The wines present with great personality and with generous fruit and spice attributes not seen from Nine One Six before. The range of character across the property was also compelling, and reveals a story of the property that will continue to be told. 

Having harvested multiple sections of the property separately, the winemaking approach was focused on expressing the true character of each. It was important to not interfere, but pay attention to doing the right things at the right times to enhance the inherent character of each parcel. The most important elements to this approach were to encourage natural fermentation, avoid the use of additives, monitor temperatures throughout fermentation, avoid the use of new oak, and commit to a long maturation period on lees to allow time for the wines to develop their personality. No fining or filtration. Nothing added. Nothing removed. As a result, the comparisons between the parcels are stunning. 

It was for this reason that we decided to bottle two sections of the vineyard separately. Vibrant natural acidity brings a freshness and some tension that promises to carry the South wine for many years to come. The core of fruit is very fresh; very primary and well defined, clinging to the acids in a way that creates tension and length but also gives a nice savoury edge to the wines. The 2016 wines are indeed reflective of the season, and the unfolding narrative of Nine One Six Pinot Noir.