Hawke’s Bay lies on the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand. The region enjoys dry summers with moderate, cool nights. This wine reflects a single vineyard Chenin Blanc which was grown in the Maraekakaho Appellation and is specifically from the Two Terraces Vineyard which is in transition to organic farming. The lower night time temperatures of the inland site produce wines in a cooler climate style with good aromatics and elegant structure, avoiding the risk of overripe characteristics. Over the past 15,000 years, the nearby Ngaruroro River has laid down some spectacular terraces, with shallow stony silt loams over red metals. As well as being shaped by the river, the soils also contain volcanic deposits from past eruptions on the volcanic plateau in the central North Island. There were two clones from this Chenin Blanc block used (220 & 880) and both came in with higher than expected sugars and acidity, making for some fantastic, powerful fruit.
Shallow stony silt loams over red metals
Hand picked in late March and transported in small bins to the winery where the fruit was whole bunch pressed into tank. The next day the juice was put to 5 neutral oak barriques (225 litre barrels) and 2 neutral oak puncheons (500 litre barrels) where they were allowed to warm up naturally. The barriques were inoculated with an organic yeast strain and the puncheons were left to ferment ‘wild’. This combined very varietal characteristics with some opulent funkiness. Most of the barrels were fermented to dry. However one puncheon slowed and left a total of 3 grams per litre of residual sugar in the entire blend. Given the acidity the choice was made to leave this hint of sweetness. The wine was unfined and coarse filtered before bottling.
Grainy seeds of red apple, lightly floral nose, with hints of cinnamon glazed pears. The palate has a soft approach with a rich, even spicy mid-palate. While the fruit is opulent and soft in portions it also has firm acidity with a lengthy crisp finish resulting in a wine that will drink well young but age for many years to come.