WA 91-93 points (2013)
Fermented entirely with naturally occurring yeast, this is an alternative style of sauvignon blanc that is both intricate and textural. An inviting combination of fragrant patisserie-like aromas and fresh herbs – the sweet scent of lemon meringue and apricot friand seems to meld with a tarragon-like herbal quality and a hint of smokiness. The palate is succulent and packed with stonefruit and vanilla, finishing crisp and long with a flinty dryness.
Fruit was sourced from various vineyard sites in the Southern Valleys and the central Wairau Plains, specifically in Woodbourne, Renwick and Rapaura. Soil types vary from the young alluvial deposits of Rapaura and Renwick, which contain high proportions of greywacke river stones, to the older and denser clay-loams of the Southern Valleys. A high percentage of the vineyards were trained using the divided Scott Henry canopy management system, with the balance on two- or three-cane VSP (vertical shoot positioning).
Some vineyards were harvested by machine and others by hand, all into halftonne bins, which were tipped directly into tank presses. The grapes were pressed relatively lightly and the resulting juice was cold-settled prior to racking into mostly old French oak barriques. The juice was allowed to undergo spontaneous indigenous yeast fermentation, the tail end of which continued for well over six months. The wine had occasional lees stirring and approximately two-thirds of the barrels underwent malo-lactic fermentation. It was transferred out of oak prior to the following harvest and left on yeast lees for a further five months. The wine was bottled in November 2014 with an alcohol of 14.0%, pH 3.30 and acidity of 6.4 g/l.