2018 Arfion Pinot Noir - $40

14020 Ar Fion SS Front Pinot.jpg
14020 Ar Fion SS Front Pinot.jpg

2018 Arfion Pinot Noir - $40

from 240.00

Pinot noir is so high maintenance I have nightmares about it.

In the vineyard and cellar it puts serious pressure on you, but in the end it provides the greatest fun and reward.

Our 2018 Willowlake Pinot Noir, as always, shows spicy cherry, dark berry and campari notes. It’s a savoury, fine style with a soft toasty finish.

Volume 284 cases

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Willowlake Vineyard – Gladysdale – Upper Yarra – Yarra Valley

We work with Tim Wray at the outstanding Willowlake Vineyard in the Upper Yarra Valley. Located on a south facing slope in Gladysdale, the vineyard leads a pretty tough life. It’s a cold and weathered land operating at the very margins of grape growing. Mature vines hang off slopes on ancient, friable red and grey volcanic soils capping a tabled ridge of basalt. 


2018 had a shaky start with an early budburst and a warm and humid Spring. Healthy crop levels resulted but the disease pressure was huge, with unprecedented levels of downy mildew floating around. Good canopy management and timely procedures were essential to grow clean fruit and a healthy leaf area to ripen it.

The spring warmth meant it was always going to be an early vintage, and with a few searing weeks in January it felt like it was going to be a hot and fast one like 2008.

But what followed was the most stable and mild 6 week period of weather we’ve ever seen in the Yarra. Warm days (30 deg C) with very cool nights (10 deg C) prevailed and pretty much turned the vintage around.

Flavours and ripeness progressed slowly and evenly to create a vintage that will be on par with 2017.

Winemaking Stats

Picking Date – 27th Feb-1st March                         Variety - 100% Pinot noir             

Clone – MV6                                                        Block- C1/C4

pH - 3.45                          TA – 6.8 g/L                       Baume – 13.1

Picked early to retain fresh acidity and bright flavours, 60% of our blend was 100% whole bunch /carbonic fermented with wild yeast for 12-15 days, after which we pressed direct to old French barriques for malolactic ferment and ageing.

The remaining fruit was destemmed but not crushed, to leave as many whole berries as we could. They were held on skins for a period of 18 to 22 days with very little touching.

After pressing, the wine was matured in new (15%) and old barrels for another 9 months at cold temperatures without sulphur. This has added a savoury edge and a fine juicy tannin. A bit of sulphur but no fining or filtration pre bottling.

Bottling Date – 4th Dec 2018         pH - 3.65         TA – 5.1 g/L           Alc - 13.5%          RS < 2 g/L