The growing season, summer 2011-2012 was very cloudy for Nelson, with many records broken. It was the wettest summer on record, and an almighty rain event in December combined with cool temperatures made for a worrying time going into harvest. Would we get enough warm weather in autumn that we needed to fully ripen our grapes? To our great relief April was characterized by frequent highs resulting in very dry and sunny conditions. April sunshine hours being the highest on record for our region and fantastic afternoon maximum temperatures meant full ripeness was at last achieved.
The grapes for this wine were harvested on 5 April, coming from our Lansdowne and Annabrook vineyards on the stony alluvial soils of the Waimea Plains. It was a tiny but perfect and intenesly flavoured crop. Both parcels were harvested 23 Brix.
Both sites were harvested very early morning so they arrived at the winery icy cold, helping to preserve delicate fruit characters. They were then gently destemmed and carefully pressed with early cuts, the press fractions being treated separately. After cold settling, the juices were racked with minimal solids and inoculated with yeast strains chosen to enhance aromatics and texture. The free run and pressing parcels were fermented separately to maintain blending options. The ferments were kept cool to enhance the retention of the delicate aromatics.
Each ferment was stopped at a point that we felt it was showing its best potential and would marry well with each other. Both components underwent maturation on lees, subtly enhancing the textural component of the wine’s palate. Come early August the individual components were assessed and a blend agreed upon. The wine was then blended, stabilized and crossflow filtered for bottling on 2 October 2012.