Despite the very dry conditions in 2020, vines fared far better than the summer of 2019, when a similarly low amount of rain fell in January and February. This season was drier for longer than the previous year, with just 43mm of rain between December 21 and April 21, compared to 185mm in a normal year – do we have those anymore?
March with slightly cooler than average, but with warmer days and cool nights and almost no rainfall the growing season with slightly longer, and the temperature was cooler toward the end, which meant fruit had a fuller flavour.
This was good news for grape growers, because it allowed fruit to ripen in ideal conditions without any disease pressure from botrytis bunch rot. Unlike 2019, the lower night temperatures of the 2020 vintage helped to retain acids – these cool autumn nights are part of the magic of a vintage in Marlborough (unless you’re on nightshift!).
This blend is sourced from vineyards covering the length and breadth of Marlborough – 22 vineyards in total, ensuring this blend reflects vintage 2020 in Marlborough. The fruit is predominantly from the Upper Wairau Valley with smaller components from Dillons Point, Rapaura and the Awatere Valley.
The grapes were machine harvested at 20 to 22°Brix in great condition then pressed and the cloudy juice clarified by either floatation or traditional cold settling. Once clear, yeast was added, and the batches were fermented separately in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks at between 12° and 15°C. Fermentation over approximately 3 to 4 weeks achieved the balance we were after then the wine was racked and held cold on light lees in full tanks to help retain freshness. Following blending, the wine was stabilised without the need for extra fining before final crossflow filtration to prepare for bottling.
Colour: Pale yellow.
Nose: Guava, spicy floral notes, dried herbs and jalapeño.
Palate: Full flavoured, balanced and pithy with lingering flavour and mouthfeel.
Best Drinking: Anytime from now through to 2022. Serve chilled.