You may know Dane Johns of Nikau Farm Wimes from his other cult-followed wine label Momento Mori Wines. As well as producing fantastic wine under the Momento Mori label he is now producing exceptional wine for the very first time from his own vineyard in Gippsland on the ‘Nikau Block’. Nikau Wines are foremost a brutally honest expression of land, place, farming and time. The Nikau block is the centrepiece on the wine label.
The farm is just over an acre and is 27 years old and planted entirely to Pinot Noir. The soils are comprised of a compacted sandstone base which becomes more stone like the deeper you go, with a highly fertile, friable organic layer of about half a meter over the top of it. The entire farm has never had any pesticides or herbicides used and is a clear indication in the health of the soils and the property as a whole. The soils and the ecosystems above them are incredibly healthy and are teeming with life and microbial activity.
Dane carries out everything in the vineyard by hand and strictly adheres to organic principles always with a philosophy of ‘less is more’. This wine, a 2019 Pinot Noir, is a true example of that. The yields in 2019 were tiny and Dane harvested about 700kg of fruit in total. The quality of the fruit though was exceptional with tiny berries on very small bunches producing very concentrated flavours while still holding great acidity. 100% hand destemmed fruit into stainless steel and left to start fermentation by it’s own accord. The fermentation was low and slow at relatively low temperatures due to the cool weather.
No maceration, no plunging, no movement. After about 6 weeks the wine was pressed back into stainless steel for 10 months before being bottled by gravity directly off of its full lees.