Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
It would be hard to dream up a person more well-equipped to lead coastal Pinot Noir to new heights than Dieter Cronje. The young winemaker, who has been obsessed with the grape for almost his entire career, grew up outside South Africa’s coastal capital of Cape Town, and got his start in Stellenboch, a region which spills dramatically into two oceans simultaneously (the Indian and the Atlantic). Dieter has the easy confidence of someone more gifted than you who also happens to take himself a lot less seriously — it would be annoying if he weren’t also so charming — but what really makes his wines stand out is his clarity of vision. Having been at Presqu’ile from the beginning, he’s had a hand in everything from conceptualizing the estate vineyard to designing its ultra-modern winery (we’re talking Bond-villain-lair levels of epic). Thus his wines feel complete, fully realized, and utterly distinct. The grapes for this estate bottling are sourced entirely from the winery’s 73-acre certified sustainable estate vineyard, which features uniquely sandy soils and a strong marine influence. The fruit is 95% destemmed prior to fermentation, and the wine is aged for 11 months in French oak (10% new). Prior to bottling it spends 6 months in stainless steel.
When it comes to exploring the boundaries of coastal Pinot Noir, Presqu’ile’s Dieter Cronje is uniquely primed for the task. For the young South African winemaker, the grape has been a career-long obsession — from the dramatically coastal Stellenboch, where he got his start, to his current post in the Santa Maria Valley — one of the world’s top spots for marine-influenced Pinot. At Presqu’ile, Dieter is backed by 100 years of agricultural history: the Murphy’s, who founded the winery in 2007, are fourth-generation farmers. With longevity comes perspective — and Presqu’ile stands out for its commitment to stewardship and conservation. Since 2010, the winery, along with its 73-acre estate vineyard, has been SIP Certified — one of the most rigorous certifications a U.S. winery can achieve. SIP imposes strict, science-backed standards based on expert input and independent verification in order to address the three P’s of sustainability – people, planet, and prosperity.