• Vintage 2017

  • Vineyard

    Luscious spring rain, mild flowering conditions, gentle ripening: an outstanding vintage.

  • Harvest

    Hand picked from only six middle rows in south, six middle rows in west on 5th March, 2017.

  • Winery

    Whole bunches into small fermenters, just a few rows destemmed. Natural ferment. Handplunged. Bottled under Diam cork November 2018. 12.5% alc/vol. Release date 9th December, 2019.

Winemaker Notes

Vintage 2017 promises to be one of the truly great pinot noir vintages for the Yarra Valley. Nine One Six's beautiful little corner of Steels Creek enjoyed conditions that were ideal for elegant, expressive pinot noir.  Winter and spring rainfall were above average, and spring and summer delivered cooler than average temperature including those critical weeks of ripening leading up to harvest. A wet winter and spring was desperately needed, however coming off of a very dry period stretching back to 2011, the recharge didn’t hold and moisture depletion was rapid, resulting in slightly smaller canopies than expected. The conditions also produced very cool temperatures throughout spring and early summer, which staggered the phenology and further contributed to smaller canopy development. This allowed good bunch exposure for ideal  phenolic development (colour and tannin). Ripening began later than recent years, pushing the maturation phase in to autumn, and therefore offering better harvest conditions. The cooler nights and temperate days were critical in delivering well-defined flavour and stunning natural acidity.

The longer, slower and steadier ripening period at 916 delivered great aromatic range, flavour development and phenolic complexity in the grapes: a tantalising set-up for a winemaker. In many ways, 2017 was an ideal vintage for 916, with fruit in perfect balance at optimal ripening. Harvest was on the 6th of March, later than all harvests since the commencement of 916 in 2012, apart from 2013 which was a warm, dry year that saw us leave the fruit on the vine longer than usual for stylistic reasons.

Both South and West harvests were placed by hand in to small fermenters just as they were picked - as whole bunches - that were left to ferment naturally. A third harvest, the balance of South block, was destined for de-stemming, and perfect whole berries filled a tank for natural fermentation; a technique that provides freshness, fragrance and purity together with a fineness of structure that is critical in pinot noir.