A perfect summer and a warm dry autumn enabled us to leave these grapes on the vine until late into the season, thus enabling them develop noble botrytis.
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 while retaining good natural acidity. This is especially suited to our old riesling vines that have now had time to sink their roots deep into this unique mineral rich terroir.
HARVEST AND WINEMAKING
We hand-picked riesling from the same vines multiple times in late autumn, choosing only the most beautifully noble botrytic fruit on each occasion. Further hand selection was done in the winery retaining only the best berries. These were gently pressed and a small amount of very rich juice at 45 brix was obtained. It was allowed to settle and the clarified portion was then fermented over many months at low temperatures in order to help retain its special aromas and flavours. The juice was so concentrated that when the fermentation stopped it still had a rich, natural sweetness. It was made in the style of an Alsatian Selection des Grains Nobles or a German Trockenbeerenauslësen.
On release, it is a bright lemon-gold colour. The abundant aromas and flavours evoke impressions of ripe cantaloupe melon, mango, pineapple, lychees, and manuka honey. On the palate, the wine is rich and unctuous. Underneath this, however, there is a streak of minerality and fine acidity that keep it fresh, lively and refined, drawing out its lingering after flavours.