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.
Our Pinot Rosé is made from several clones of Pinot Noir. A large portion is Mariafeld. This clone in particular lends itself to Rosé as the berries are large and juicy with great perfume and soft tannins.
Once harvested on the 21st of March early in the morning (very chilly), the fruit was gently processed to a press where it was held under gas cover for 6 hours to soak on the skins. This soak time extracting not only flavour and colour but fine phenolics. We then fired up the press and the juice was pressed off skins and sent to tank for settling.
Once clarified the bulk of the juice was racked to tank and a small volume to seasoned barrels for ferment. The juice was co-inoculated with two yeast, one chosen for the textural/structure impact it has on the wine and the second for the fermentation aromatics it liberates. Come early May we arrested the ferments with a dash of residual sugar remaining.
The barrel component underwent a month of lees stirring to ramp up the creamy texture while the tank sat quietly on its fine lees. The tank and barrel components were then re-combined (barrel ferment representing approximately 7% of the blend) and the wine readied for bottling.