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 team put in a stoic effort to pull in our grapes in excellent condition and in record time.
Seven of our Estate vineyards are represented in this wine! All of them are based on the stony Waimea Plains. Each parcel of fruit was closely considered and chosen for the attributes it would bring to the final blend. Once identified as gorgeous, the separate parcels were scheduled in for harvest early morning so to arrive at the winery cool - helping to protect the precious aromatics. Quickly processed to the press each press cycle was then monitored to separate out the free run and light pressings, the press cut made when the extraction of flavour was good and just light dusty phenloics were beginning to show in the juice, as we hope to maintain the fresh aromatics typical to Sauvignon and also create a delicate phenolic structure to the wine. Some parcels of harder pressings that were particularly flavoursome were treated separately and returned to the original juice. Once clarified and racked to their respective ferment tanks, yeast was chosen for each parcel that we felt would eke out its shiny character. The ensuing ferments were then carefully mothered and arrested when the individual wines were perfectly in balance (according to us!) For a textural component, a small percentage of the final blend underwent frequent lees stirring for over a month after the completion of ferment. Come early July we set about ‘building’ our blend from the finished components and are really happy with the resulting wine! The wine was then carefully finished and crossflow filtered ready for bottling late July. May you enjoying drinking it as much as we have enjoyed making it!