Harvest 2014 was notable for the excellent quality of fruit produced thanks to a season that was warm and dry for Nelson. Excellent concentration of flavours and ripeness levels were reached several weeks earlier than expected, resulting in an early start to harvesting in the second week of March. Fortuitously this meant that when more than 200mm of rain hit the upper South Island mid-April our fruit was now juice, happily fermenting in the winery.
Four separate parcels, all unique, were harvested over a 10 day period for this wine. Three of the parcels were off the Waimea plains, though all were very different in flavour profile, and one from the heavier soils of Ruby Bay. We scheduled the harvesting for early morning so the fruit arrived cool at the winery, all important for preserving aromatics and minimising excessive phenolic pick up in this variety. The grapes were gently crushed and pressed with early cuts and the press fractions kept separate for a gentle fining and cold settling. Once clarified the juices were recombined with their pressings as the real intensity of flavour is found here. The juices were then inoculated with a selection of yeast strains chosen to enhance floral, nutty aromas and texture. Each ferment was carefully monitored so that they were run at temperatures which allowed each yeast to perform at it's best. They were stopped at the point where we felt they showed the greatest balance and expression. Each wine was then matured on light yeast lees to give further texture and richness to the palate. In July the four very different components were sniffed, tasted, scrutinised and finally blended, after which the wine was ready for the bottle the second week of August.