Settled weather over flowering resulted in a moderate fruit set. The subsequent warm summer then allowed the grapes to ripen beautifully. Late season conditions were favourable for the development of noble botrytis, essential for the production of this wine styles.
VINEYARD AND VINES
The vines are located within the Waipara Valley of North Canterbury, on free draining, north facing terraces. They benefit from being in the lee of the Teviotdale Range, giving maximum protection from the Pacific’s easterly breezes and thus creating a unique mesoclimate. Over 35 years old, a large proportion are still planted on their own roots. They are grown on the “Glasnevin Gravels” where greywacke stones, silt and loam have been washed down from the mountains over the millennia. The soil is of low fertility, resulting in naturally reduced vine vigour. This produces low yields of optimally ripened, high quality, flavourful grapes, which fully express the qualities of this unique terroir. The site has warm days, but the nights are amongst the coolest in the Waipara Valley, drawing out the ripening period of the grapes, while still retaining good natural acidity.
HARVEST AND WINEMAKING
Encore is part of our reserve series and is only made in exceptional years, being dependent on specific conditions at the end of the season leading to noble rot. This wine is made in the style of an Alsatian Selection des Grains Nobles, or a German Trockenbeerenauslësen. Riesling grapes were left to hang until late autumn, and then hand-picked, choosing the most beautifully noble botrytic fruit. Further hand selection was carried out in the winery, retaining only the best berries. These were gently pressed, and a small amount of very rich juice obtained. This was transferred into tank, where it was left to gradually ferment at low temperatures over many months, to preserve varietal purity and help the wine express the unique characters of our region.
On release, it has a striking bright gold appearance. A plethora of lush and decadent aromas delight the nose. Ripe melon, quince, honey, and perfume are flanked by deeper impressions of crème brulée, marmalade, lemon meringue and sweet spice. The palate is unctuous and concentrated, with a multi layered and palatial mouthfeel. Complementing this perfectly is a seam of lively and refreshing acidity, adding structure and paving the way for a long, pleasurable finish.