The 2010-2011 summer had near-record warm temperatures averaging at least 1.2°C above average for the Nelson region. More northwest winds than normal contributed to the warm temperatures and these provided a few deluges that kept both vineyard and winery staff on their toes. Fruit was monitored frequently for optimum picking conditions and the winery was operating 24 hours a day seven days a week.
These warmer temperatures, and our vigilance in the vineyard and the winery, enabled us to pick fruit in both great condition and physiologically ripe.
The fruit for this wine was harvested early in the morning and gently pressed while still cold, to preserve aromatics and minimise phenolic pick up. After cold settling for 3 days, the clear juice was fermented with Alsatian yeasts selected for their ability to enhance body, texture and varietal aromas in the finished wine.
A moderately cool fermentation (13-15°) in stainless steel tanks has preserved freshness and fruit expression, contributing to the elegance of this wine.
Fermentations were stopped with some residual sugar remaining, to balance the mineral and fine phenolic structure of this Pinot Gris. Batonnage (or lees stirring) was carried out for four months to further enhance texture and depth on the palate. The individual portions were assessed and blended in September, after which the wine was stabilised, cross flow filtered, and bottled in early March 2012.
Pear, clove and honeysuckle aromas dominate this Pinot Gris. The off-dry palate is at once textured, mineral, and softly honeyed. The finish is punctuated by a crushed biscuit flavour and lengthened by a gentle acidity. The savoury characters make this both an excellent food wine, and a satisfying aperitif.
Varietal: 100% Pinot Gris
Acidity: 5 g/L
Res Sugar: 8.5g/L
Raymond Chan *****
Brilliant, pale straw-yellow colour, pale on rim. This is very tight, fine and elegant on bouquet with white floral and citrus fruits, revealing nuances of tropical fruits with detail and delicacy. Medium-dry, this is beautifully refined with subtle pear, white floral and honey flavours forming an elegant core with excellent concentration. The mouthfeel is very smooth, near seamless, and there is a building generosity and richness, leading to a long finish with real presence. This is a classy, delicate Pinot Gris with the potential to unfold more flavours and develop greater character over the next 3-4+ years. Serve with antipasto, tapas, seafood and poultry. Fruit primarily from the ‘Hope’ block on the Waimea Plains fermented to 14.4% alc, and 8.5 g/L rs, the wine given 4 months batonnage.
TizWine Top Tip *****
This was the first wine to be tasted in the Pinot Gris section and WOW - what a beauty. Turkish delight on the nose with a palate full of concentrated pear flavours wrapped up in a big and oily texture. Rich and powerful with endless length.