We have recently decided that Pinot Noir is the grape we will stick with in the vineyard as it has produced us several years of very enjoyable wine and it likes this terroir. We have called the Pinot Noir – Il Masin.
2001 The first year we allowed anyone from the wine world to sample our wine. In a fabulous chapter on Kenya, In Africa Uncorked by Erica and John Platter and Hugh Johnson, they describe ‘Château Leakey‘ as
“Certainly the most drinkable red we’d tasted in the tropics. ”
“…the bouquet might need some work; it lacked nose power.” “Unwooded with inviting juicy Pinot character, nicely filled out and fleshy on the palate.”
We also did a Sauvignon Blanc and a Cabernet Sauvignon that year too which were not a great success. We have since pulled all those vines out after the 2004 mildew disaster.
2003 Produced only 190 bottles. 3 remain. John Platter et al. missed this one as we drank it all at our wedding. Too bad, as with this vintage we certainly got the nose power. As my mother in law described it after long and careful thought … “Well it has got fruit, cassis and what is it….Oh, its gunpowder”.
2004 Disaster struck with a bad bout of mildew at fruit set and we lost the entire crop. We have since come a log way mildew control. This was the year I really got to grips with Mildew. The result of the mailed crop was that it forced us to uproot all the vines except for the Pinot Noir and the Chardonnay.
2005 We had a bumper crop this year from out 460 Pinot Noir vines. We produced almost 400 bottles. All was going well and was looking very promising. We were using variable capacity steel tanks with one of the plastic and marble stoppers in the top. This unfortunatly let the air in (I should have used a rubber bung!). We lost the entire lot to oxidation. Ouch or rather Yuck.
2006 This is what we are drinking now. I am pleased to say that this is most pleasant drinking but does need some breathing time. Again unwooded it is fruity on the nose and is well rounded. It is still a bit early to be drinking it and I am concerned that I did not put quite enough sulphite in there to stop the malaolactic fully and so I think it is still doing its thing. However there is not much of it and we are enjoying these bottles immensely. We also had a success with 60 bottles of Chardonnay this year thanks to the help of Zander and Louisa Hargrave who were here in March 2006. They produced top wine on the North Fork of Long Island.
2007 We are just about to harvest. Watch this space. I will be posting this as we proceed.