Tête De Cuvée
Tête De Cuvée means the best wine of the vintage. This wine was born through Bill's and Dan's love of old world Pinot Noir wines and their desire to make the best Pinot Noir of which Picardy is capable.
This wine is not a reserve wine made in the usual method of selecting the best barrels for separate bottling. Instead, it is made entirely as a separate wine with a greater emphasis on intensity, complexity, structure and cellaring potential.
In the Vineyard
As with the Picardy Pinot Noir, this wine is made from 11 clones (Droopy, Upright, 114, 115, 777 and 6 new clones imported from Corton). The base of this wine is from a 0.1 hectare block planted to traditional old world planting density (10,000 vines per hectare) and trellis style. The remainder of this wine is taken from a portion of the main Picardy Pinot Noir block which is crop thinned to below 5 tonnes per hectare (35 hectolitres per hectare).
In the Winery
To provide this wine with considerable structure and longevity, it is cold macerated for longer periods and fermented with 30% whole bunch fruit to extract more tannin. The resultant wine is then matured in new to four year old oak for 10 months. After barrel maturation it is given a very light filtration and bottled. It is then held in bottle until the Pannell Family feel that it is showing its optimum potential. The Pannell Family are confident that the Picardy Tete de Cuvee will continue to drink superbly long after it has been released.
This wine demonstrates the difference that extra attention to detail and better quality fruit can bring.