2013 Awatere Valley Marlborough Pinot Gris
Clear and bright pale green with a hint of the typical pinot gris bronzing this wine has pear, apple pie and spice notes on what is a vibrant and expressive, fruit driven nose. Backing up the fruit nose the palate is also dominated by clean fresh pears, nectarine and apricots with a steely, mineral undertone. Full bodied with ample texture and mouthfeel this wine has a richness from a touch of fruit sweetness yet finely balanced by acidity with a stoney, mineral backbone.
Grapes for this wine were pressed very gently in a membrane press to obtain the clearest, cleanest juice possible; with harder pressings being fully exposed to oxygen to soften and oxidise phenolics and colour. Free run juice was settled clear overnight before racking with some fluffy lees incorporated, with the harder pressings being fined and eventually incorporated back in with the free run. Selected yeasts were used for both batches and ferments were cool to warm, taking around 20 days for each tank. The ferments were stopped when balance was judged to be perfectly poised between residual sugar and some acidity/phenolics. Post ferment the wine was lees stirred in tank for two weeks before being racked, heat and cold stabilised with no additional finings judged necessary. A quick crossflow filtration had the wine sparkling clean and bright and bottled early in July.
This wine is made from two separate vineyards in the cool southern Awatere Valley of Marlborough, one located next to the lower valley township of Seddon and one on the southern side of the Awatere River 30 kilometres inland. The summer leading into vintage 2013 was all but perfect with long hot periods of no rain and typically cold nights to aid in acid retention. With heavy rain approaching in late April we were lucky enough to have both vineyards at close to optimum ripeness so the decision was made to machine harvest with a state of the art destemmer harvester. Perfectly ripe fruit at a brix of between 23 and 24 were picked on the 14th April 2013.