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This wine is so named for the ‘57 Studebaker President that Neil Prentice sold to buy fence posts for his Gippsland vineyard.
This is an earlier drinking style of Pinot Noir made from vines grown from seed by Prentice, his own unique Pinot Noir clone which was created in his vineyard. “I’m trying to make a really approachable, pretty style of Pinot”, he says, “We put the wines to barrel without settling them, which I think leaves better aromatics in the wine”.
This offers more delicate aromatics and floral characters than many Gippsland Pinot Noirs. It’s finely boned and beautiful to drink. All things considered, it’s an absolute steal.
What It Tastes Like
Little bacon and game on the nose which gives way to flowers, red cherry and a sweet lick of oak. It’s soft and supple with graphite tannins and a slippery mouth feel. Has charisma and personality too. Good gear. Great buying for the region, in particular.
This is a gentler, more immediately accessible expression of our Pinot Noir style. Handpicked fruit is crushed and completely destemmed into 500-litre fermentation bins prior to a brief cold maceration of just a few days.
Pigeage (foot-plunging) three times a day starts as soon as the must is taken out of the fridge. The wine is not inoculated but allowed to ferment naturally. If excessively volatile characters begin to develop, a small amount of a high glycerol producing yeast is sprinkled on top of the must. Alternatively, a bucket of must from another ‘good’ ferment is used to take over from an excessively volatile ferment.
Once the wine is dry it is drained and pressed to barrel as two components: free-run and pressings. We use 500-litre Allier puncheons as well as smaller old oak to age the Studebaker. These don’t tend to impart excessive oak flavour but keep the wine sound with its lees. Secondary fermentation occurs in these puncheons when malolactic bacteria consume the ‘Granny Smith’ malic acid and produce softer, ‘milky’ lactic acid in its place. This also makes the wine stable for bottling without filtration to retain texture and aromatic ‘prettiness’.
Closure: Screw Cap
Bottle Size: 750ml
Drink Until: 2025
About the Producer
Neil Prentice is very Pinot-centric in his approach to his vineyard in Gippsland. He is the only person to have grown a unique clone of Pinot Noir from seed in the country. The combination of this one of a kind Pinot strain and the Gippsland terroir produces a fruit like no other in the country.
No variety captures the hearts and minds of the wine lover quite like Pinot Noir. It’s the unicorn of many a winemaker. Notoriously fickle to grow, this delicate red variety can deliver a kaleidoscope of flavours and aromas, from the bright and floral to the moody and mysterious and everything in between. The cooler regions of Australia are where Pinot Noir is most at home. Look to Tasmania and Victoria for the best examples, with some quality wines beginning to show from the Great Southern and from the cooler parts of NSW. Falling in love with Pinot Noir can be a life long affair, beware the charms of this most enchanting of grapes.
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