The growing season was influenced by La Nina weather conditions, resulting in a very mild spring, a warm summer with high sunshine hours and a long, lingering autumn. In spite of being dry we had infrequent, but well spaced showers keeping the vines very happy. These conditions enabled us to harvest beautifully ripened, healthy fruit.
The grapes were grown on well drained stony soil in the Waipara Valley. The rows of vines are orientated in a north south direction to ensure good sunlight exposure on each side of the vine and to assist even ripening of the berries.
We have unashamedly made this in an Alsatian style. The small batch of grapes from which it was made, was purposely left on the vines into May to obtain full ripeness and encourage the development of a small amount of noble botrytis. The aim was to highlight the spectrum of its natural fruit flavours and to give it extra concentration and power. The juice obtained by gentle pressing of the fruit was fermented at cool temperatures and then given a short period of ageing on its natural yeast deposit (sur lie). Some of this was done in old barrels to help fill out the mouth feel, add texture and give complexity without adding any oak flavour.
The aromas and flavours suggest freshly sliced, ripe pear, intertwined with hints of quince, green-gage and loquat. On the palate it is complex and multifaceted with an unctuous concentration of fruit and lusciousness. These are balanced by a spine of minerality and grapefruit-like acidity which draw out the length and compliment the lingering after-taste.