THE SEASON: This was one of our cooler summers, although we had a good autumn. By leaving the grapes on the vines until later in the season we achieved excellent ripeness with good natural acidity. A modest but reasonable crop level has contributed excellent fruit concentration and body in the wine.
VINEYARD AND VINES: The outcrop of land on which these grapes were grown consists largely of weathered stones and mineral rich gravels. These were shorn off New Zealand’s Southern Alps by an ice-age glacier, which carried them down the valleys and deposited them in selected sites. The vineyard has warm days, but the nights are amongst the coolest in the Waipara Valley, which helps draw out the ripening period and retain good natural acidity. This individual terroir is especially suited to riesling.
HARVEST AND WINEMAKING: The grapes were in perfect condition when they were picked during mid to late May. They were gently pressed and the juice was then fermented slowly at cool temperatures to help the wine retain its vibrant fruit characters and varietal purity. At all stages, from fermentation to bottling, it was handled very carefully to help it retain a little of its natural carbon dioxide. This provides a little additional crispness and may result in a small amount of spritzig when first poured.
THE WINE: There is a spectrum of lively aromas and flavours suggesting lime, lemon and mandarin, intertwined with nectarine, lychee and guava. It is rich and concentrated in the mouth but a spine of crisp acidity and minerality keep it elegant and tight knit, while its off dry finish provides excellent balance. Tangy hints of ginger and spice draw out its length and linger on the palate well after swallowing. Although ready to drink on release, careful cellaring for five – 10 years should add a range of other fascinating nuances.