Summer 2012-2013 was characterized by much higher pressures than normal over the Tasman Sea. Frequent highs produced very sunny weather and the resulting growing season was uncharacteristically dry for most of the country including Nelson. By the beginning of March the Waimea Plains were experiencing a significant water deficit. However mid to late autumn saw a number of low pressure systems and rain-bearing fronts unsettling our nerves and threatening to spoil our beautiful crop. So harvest plans were thrown into top gear and Waimea’s vineyard and winery teams put in a stoic effort to pull in our grapes in excellent condition, and in record time!
On the 9th of April the Chardonnay grapes for this wine, Clones B95, CL15 and 2/23 were harvested from our vineyards on the Waimea plains, this combination of clones contributing both citrus as well as stone-fruit characters to the wine. After gently pressing the grapes the juice was briefly settled to remove grape solids. The juice was then racked to a mix of seasoned and new French oak barrels, and inoculated with a variety of specialty yeast strains chosen to enhance varietal character and provide an array fermentation characters. Following primary ferment, the yeast lees were stirred through the wine throughout the winter and spring to enhance palate-weight and texture.
Malolactic fermentation kicked off late spring/early summer as the barrels warmed up and once complete some ten months later the wine was wine was blended, filtered, and finished for bottling in March 2014.