A clean fresh nose indicates a linear wine wafting of ripe citrus stone fruit with both plumpness and generosity. Vanilla pod dominates over meanderings of apricots, mango, crème brûlée, and sticky butterscotch pudding. The palate is lush and generous whilst showing great restraint and focus. White peach dominates over nectarine, lemon meringue tart and lightly buttered popcorn. Subtle use of oak finely integrates with the fruit characters near the mid to back palate to finesse a lengthy lingering austere finish that is warm and pleasing. Overall a very well-balanced, harmonious wine showcasing the greatest hall-marks of its 5-star predecessors.
A hot summer characterised with great flowering, little disease pressure and even ripening led to ripe, fully laden bunches. Fruit was carefully hand-harvested prior to the mid-march rain events that dampened an otherwise near perfect growing season. The resultant fruit condition was unaffected preserving fruit flavour and setting up an exemplary wine style.
The vines sit on a north facing aspect amongst all day sunshine and afternoon sea breezes. The temperate climate and Moutere clay gravels along with a rich top soil and low rainfall create a unique maritime terroir for growing premium grapes. Vines are pruned to two canes on a VSP trellis system with no irrigation. Ripening is encouraged with an extensive canopy management regime all done by hand.
The two clones of Mendoza (17%) and 15 (83%) were whole bunched pressed separately on gentle press cycles to retain fruit quality, flavour and aromas. After settling the juice was transferred to French oak barrels where fermentation occurred using natural and cultured yeast strains. Malolactic fermentation occurred in the spring to soften and balance acidity. Occasional lees stirring further enhanced characters and complexity. After 7 months in barrels the wine was racked, blended, cold stabilized and then filtered prior to bottling.
Released on 17 February 2015 and will reward further cellaring of 3-7 years and beyond.
Oysters served natural with Chardonnay wine vinegar, finely diced red onion and a squeeze of lemon; succulent roast chicken with onion and thyme gravy, roasted parsnips, sweet potato and fresh seasonal mixed vegetables; pork cutlets pan-fried and then oven baked with apple sauce, red currents, blanched bok choy served over potato cake in a creamy white sauce; pan seared scallops in lemon and garlic pan sauce.