Leah Pinot Noir – 2016

Region: New Zealand


Michael Seresin was born in Wellington, New Zealand, but left in the 1960s, when sheep, not grapevines, covered the Wairau Plains. He settled in Italy, where he was captivated by Italian food and wine culture and began his career as a cinematographer. Over time Michael’s interest in wine developed into a passion. In the early 1990s after investigating opportunities to start a winery in Italy, he became aware of the quality wines starting to emerge from his homeland. After visiting Marlborough, and falling in love with the Marlborough Sounds, Michael decided to purchase a home there, followed by the purchase of some land in the Wairau Valley, which became Seresin’s Home Vineyard. He began planting vines and imported Tuscan olive varieties immediately along with significant plantings of native plant species.

Seresin, one of the first wineries in New Zealand to operate organic vineyards, released their first vintage was in 1996 and the winery was completed in mid-2000. A year later, the Tatou Vineyard was purchased and land in the Omaka Valley was purchased for development into what is now the Raupo Creek Vineyard. Seresin won the Marlborough District Council’s 2009 Marlborough Environment Award.

In 2018, the Tatou vineyard and winery were sold to local NZ winemakers Ben Glover and Rhyan Wardman who was the inaugural assistant winemaker at Seresin. The wines continue to be made by winemaker Tamra Kelly-Washington at what was the original Seresin winery and is known today as The Coterie, a winemaking hub championing small-batch, single-site wines.

Winemaker Tamra Kelly-Washington graduated as a top scholar from Lincoln University with a degree in Viticulture and Oenology. She started out her career at Seresin Estate. After spending time making wine in the USA, Australia and Italy she headed back to her roots where it all started at Seresin Estate, joining the team in time for the 2018 harvest.

Working with viticulturist Cameron Vawter, a passionate advocate for biodynamic farming, their focus is spent on precise picking decisions, embracing acidity in order to guide pristine fruit through the winemaking process with minimal handling. The resulting wines are elegant, structured and a genuine reflection of their provenance.


Grapes / Soils

Pinot Noir Over 20 years on average in 2015 Mixed alluvial silt

The Wine

Vineyard Profile

The fruit comes mostly from the clay-rich hillside Raupo Creek vineyard in the Omaka Valley with a small amount also from Noa vineyard, which is made up of Waimakariri type soils of alluvial origin.

  • A blend from all of our vineyard sites.
  • Leah is named after Michael Seresin’s daughter.
Harvest Notes

The 2016 winegrowing vintage at Seresin Estate will be remembered for a challenging cold start with a spectacular long summer.  A very long and constant frost fighting season ensured the team were under pressure from the start.  Towards the end of January we were predicting a later harvest than normal, but an intense long summer followed by a dry harvest period enabled us to deliver the fruit on-time, intact and without stress.  The harvest itself was fast and furious, one of the most compact we have ever experienced.

  • The fruit was hand-picked, destemmed and fermented with wild yeast, and the caps hand-plunged daily during fermentation.
  • The wine was left on skins for 4-5 weeks, then drained, lightly pressed and transferred to aged French oak barriques, 12% new.
  • The wine went through natural malolactic fermentation during 11 months maturation, before it was bottled lightly filtered and unfined.
Winemaker's Notes
  • Exhibits bright, fragrant berry-fruit aromas, interlaced with spice and herbal notes.
  • The wine is focused and concentrated, with a succulent fruit core, framed by fine-grained tannins and a mouth-watering acidity.
  • An elegant and understated style with immediate appeal, but structure to last.
Wine Summary
  • Made from Pinot Noir grapes.
  • Vine age – from vines over 20 years on average in 2015.
  • Grown on soils of mixed alluvial silt, gravel and clay.
  • Fermented in French Oak Barriques using wild yeast.
  • Aged in French barriques, 12% new.
  • Aged for 11 months.
  • Bottled lightly filtered and unfined.
Technical Information
  • Variety:  Pinot Noir
  • Vineyard:  97% Raupo Creek, 3% Noa
  • Oak:  11 months, 12% New
  • Bottling Date:  June 23, 2017
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • RS:  0.18 g/l
  • PH:  3.6
  • TA:  5.7 g/l
  • Total SO2:  40 ppm

General Info

Country New Zealand
Region South Island
Appellation(s) Marlborough
Proprietors Michael Seresin
Founded 1992, first vintage 1996
Winemaker Tamra Kelly-Washington
Annual Production 30,000 9L cases (including Momo)
Farming (Sustainable, organic, biodynamic) Biodynamic (grapes certified with Demeter), Organic (property and wines certified with Biogro NZ)