Middle-Earth Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Middle-Earth Sauvignon Blanc 2019

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MIDDLE-EARTH Sauvignon Blanc 2019

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: Summer 2019 is the third-warmest summer on record in New Zealand. High pressure and hot air masses descending upon us from
neighbouring Australia, led to prolonged hot and dry conditions for the January - February period. Here in Nelson we observed a 40-day dry spell, the 4
longest since records began in 1862. This dry period came hand in hand with high sunshine hours, our local weather stations recording 355 hours for the month of January. A new record for the sunniest month in the South Island. These conditions led to the rapid accumulation of sugars and the earliest ever start to harvest for our region. They also produced wonderfully disease-
free fruit which was snaffled up at break neck speed, our company’s entire harvest completed within the month of March.

WINEMAKING: Eight picks from four vineyard blocks were harvested for this wine. The first on the 8th March and the last just under three weeks later on the 26th March. This passage of time and spread of vineyards giving us a nice spectrum of flavours across the different parcels. We have found machining to be the best technique for harvesting Sauvignon Blanc as it enables us to remove the fruit quickly when the temperature is cool minimising oxidation, the skin contact with juice during transportation and processing at the winery most definitely contributing to the concentration of flavour and fine phenolic structure obtained in the juice. Once at the winery the must was further de-stemmed and transferred to the press. A gentle press cycle was used and press fractions separated from the free run and light pressings. The juice was then cold settled for several days to achieve low solids prior to ferment promoting a crisper more aromatic ferment. Each parcel of juice was inoculated with a different Sauvignon yeast chosen for the attributes they would bring to the finished wine. The ferments were conducted slowly at cool temperatures. Once only a dash of sugar remained the ferments were arrested. A portion of the final blend then underwent some time on yeast lees with stirring to enhance texture and mouth-feel before blending and finishing for the first bottling in our new winery on the 29th of July.

TASTING NOTE: Very pale straw tinged green at the edge, light to medium bodied. A significant 40-day dry spell has given this wine aromas of the parched stones of the riverbed, spent summer flowers and wiry nettles. Dry to taste - these characters carry through onto the palate which is a quenching oasis from the heat. A pleasing acidity and saline note which speaks of our coastal proximity stretch the wine out to a long finish.

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