MIDDLE-EARTH Pinot Gris 2018
REGIONAL CLIMATE: Nelson’s sheltered topography gives protection from strong winds; combined with its proximity to the sea this gives milder temperatures than other South Island regions, mitigating frost risk. Regularly New Zealand’s sunniest region and with good diurnal variation this helps emphasise varietal character. High sunlight hours and a long growing season give wonderful fruit purity.
VINTAGE: Across New Zealand and indeed in Nelson 2018 was one of those years that as a winemaker you were grateful be older, experienced and surrounded by an equally experienced and energetic crew... Mother Nature threw an absolute medley of weather at us! Summer arrived early with hot ripening conditions and unusually warm nights. This transpired to be very fortuitous as we were able to pull ripe parcels of fruit into the winery earlier than normal, working quickly and determinedly to dodge a series of cyclones that hit New Zealand. Our stony alluvial (very free draining) soils serving us very well in the case of the few remaining vineyards that did have to weather a storm.
WINEMAKING: Clones 2/21 and 2/15. Both clonal parcels were processed in the same manner- machined harvested in the cool of morning, carted around the block to the winery (the juice enjoying a short soak on skins) then destemmed and gentled pressed. Once separated the juice was cold-settled and racked to achieve low solids prior to ferment. Hard pressings are settled separately but racked and returned to the mother juice once clarified. The juice was spilt for two ferments and yeast strains were chosen on ability to impart mouthfeel and emphasise varietal characteristics. Slow cool fermentations in stainless steel further assured fruit-driven flavours were preserved and enhanced. Post ferment the wines were racked off gross yeast lees and allowed to age on fine yeast lees for a period of 10 months. Once a month the lees were gently stirred, slowly but carefully building character and texture into the wine. The two wines were then blended in proportions chosen to create the most complete and balanced wine which was then prepped for bottling immediately prior to the new incoming harvest.
TASTING NOTE: Straw in colour, light to medium bodied. Aromas of russet skinned pears, honey and spice. Dry to taste -these characters carry through onto the palate which delivers a savouriness and fullness characteristic of wines aged on lees. A pleasing acidity and saline note which speaks of our coastal proximity stretch the wine out to a long finish.