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2019 La Ferme de Sato 'Sur Les Nuages' Pinot Noir

2019 La Ferme de Sato 'Sur Les Nuages' Pinot Noir

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While we have featured the wines of Yoshiaki and Kyoko Sato in the past, the previous wines we've offered have all been négoce wines, that is to say wines made with bought fruit. Introducing Le Ferme de Sato aka Sato Farm. Purchased in 2015 and planted in 2016 these are wines made from young vines but are nevertheless exceptional, Sur Les Nuages translates to In the Clouds and is 100% Pinot Noir, fermented on skins for 27-30 days with 10% whole bunch. No new oak was used and the wines we're bottled with minimal added sulphur. While I am yet to try this bottling I have heard good things, most notably from Stephen Wong MW: 

"Where the other wines were bottled between 28 August and 24 September 2020, the Pinot Noir was bottled later on 3 December. Yoshiaki had concerns that it would still be closed at this stage so the wine will be tasted across several days Upon first opening, the nose was subdued, but not entirely closed, similar to light shining from the end of a tunnel. However, time in the glass allowed it to unfurl. In the middle sits an identifiably Central Otago Pinot Noir character - that vertical, starkly defined, exuberant red/black fruit core. Complexities of juniper, sumac, dark chocolate and Kenyan coffee surround this core and fill out the periphery of the senses, giving the impression of something decadent but not monolithic.

The palate grips in with fine tannins early and remains firm from start to finish - this is one to cellar and age - which is just as well because the fruit underneath is entirely unevolved. Where some other wines might have the safety of some sweet new oak to fill in the edges, this eschews that icing, opting instead to let the fruit do the heavy-lifting. There is also a hint of savoury, dried fruit on the finish which echoes some of the savoury complexities of the nose. Whilst there is no reason why you could not enjoy the wine for its structure and youthful brightness right now (there is certainly enough complexity built in here to stay engaged with it), this really needs time to come together on the palate and for the tannins to resolve into something more velvety. In time, I have no doubt this will be a thoroughly pleasurable bottle."