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Hailing from New Zealand the Clonal Brothers are Matt and Steve Harrop and together they are a lethal winemaking combination. Steve lives in the Waitaki Valley in north Otago, a short (and very beautiful!) drive from the vineyards that supply Pinot Noir for Amen Break. Matt lives in the Macedon Ranges, north of Melbourne. he grows grapes for his family winery Silentway, he will be a familiar name to most as the long-time winemaking brains behind the Shadowfax wines and more recently the newly installed winemaker for Curly Flat. His easy-going nature belies a profound winemaking talent that combines an innate understanding of his craft with equal parts accessibility and intellectualism in his wines. Steve also has a couple of decades of vineyard development and wine marketing behind him and his ability to root out the right parcel at the right price is legendary.
The wines in the range currently come under the Amen Break (music nerds will recognise this as a 6- to 7-second (4-bar) drum solo performed by Gregory Sylvester “G. C.”. Coleman in the song “Amen, Brother” performed by the 1960s funk and soul outfit The Winstons.) and currently features wines made from grapes sourced from their respective backyards including the award-winning Chardonnay off the Quarry Vineyard near Kilmore and a Central Otago Pinot Noir close to Steve’s home.
Since 2016 the Amen break Pinot Noir has been grown at the extraordinary Zebra Vineyard in Bendigo. Soil here is very weak, loessial and alluvial river terraces.
All harvest is done by hand, the winemaking is simple but precise.The ambition with the Amen Break Pinot has been to produce wines with lifted aromatic, textured mid palates and refined, lithe tannins. Hand harvested and naturally fermented. A mixture of clones that are both destemmed whole bunch pressed with no new wood.
No fining is used and the wine is minimally filtered.
The Amen Break Pinot Noir has a wonderful dense deep red colour. Aromatics of red plum, black cherry and bunch-derived Campari are pure and intense. The palate is a revelation- dense but bright, concentrated and with space. Pure Pinot Noir flavours are wrapped in fine filigreed tannins, which are layered and add many levels of complexity. A vibrant, vineyard derived wine, free of winemaking artefact and rich in authenticity.
Duck spring rolls with hoisin dipping sauce.
Will continue to improve with careful cellaring for 5-10 years.