These wines take New Zealand fruit on a very different journey. Primarily it involves skin fermentation of white grapes and alternative ways to ferment red grapes. The use of a mix of maturation vessels is central. The wines may only get the merest of Sulphur additions at the end. There are no rules except that the results must be delicious!
Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Skin Fermented
This wine is an exercise in teasing out unique New Zealand-ness from our country's workhorse grape.
Taken for two sites in the Waipara Valley, the fruit is destemmed and fermented on skins for around 6 weeks. 20% is fermented as whole clusters separately and added into the blend at pressing time. The skins are not worked hard, they are included in order to gain all the aromatics possible from the fruit, and to promote a fine thread of phenolic to keep a tension and length in the final wine.
Bottled straight after malolactic with no Sulphur addition, this wine is almost in the rawest form possible. It is our cloudy, saline ode to the New Zealand coast line.
Muller Thurgau 2019 Ancestral Method
Muller Thurgau is the forgotten grape of the New Zealand vineyard. Widely planted in the 80’s it’s now a bit of a rarity. The wine from the vines that are still planted is these days generally lost in to bulk blends.
The fruit for this wine comes from one of the oldest vineyards in Canterbury. The vines are 35+ years old and produce a miserly amount of grapes per plant. I found the idea of using old vine (for New Zealand) fruit and a completely unfashionable grape for a gently fizzy white too hard to resist.
The grapes were fermented whole cluster in open top fermenters. The open top fermenters were pressed after approximately 2 weeks of carbonic fermentation and pressed to tank for a natural clarification. Some juice was frozen and added back to the wine just prior to bottling for the second fermentation to happen in bottle.
Intensely aromatic, delicately frizzante, cloudy orange with incredible texture, this wine was bottled with nothing added or taken away.
Pinot Noir 2018 Wholebunch
This Pinot Noir comes from two vineyards, one a small close planted vineyard on the Omihi slopes and the other on the valley floor. The soil in Omihi is predominantly clay with bands of limestone and iron oxide, and the valley floor has glacial gravels with layers of silt and the odd bit of broken limestone dispersed throughout the profile.
The clay parcel brings a richness and flesh to this wine whilst the gravel site adds spice and finesse. The use of whole bunches helps to add floral aromatics and length to balance out these textures and to knit the whole wine together.
The structural elements and aroma gained from using whole bunches in Pinot Noir from North Canterbury also serves to promote longevity in the wine. It’ll make for fascinating drinking over the coming years.
This wine has approximately 50% whole bunches in the ferment. It was fermented with indigenous yeasts. It under went a natural malolactic fermentation. It has no Sulphur added until bottling. It is unfined and unfiltered. 20 ppm SO2 Total.