|Marlborough Growing Season 2012|
Early Marlborough spring growing conditions were cooler than usual
delaying budburst and subsequent flowering. Settled conditions
in late spring promoted healthy shoot growth and even fruit set,
although bunch formation was smaller than normal. Marlborough
experienced higher than average rainfall in January and February,
providing good soil moisture and plant-available nutrient levels.
Lower than average heat summation over the veraison period
extended ripening into late March. Weather conditions settled with
clear blue skies and heat summation returning to the long-term
average. Good canopy management practices maximised light
exposure and allowed the fruit to continue ripening late into the
growing season. This resulted in the fruit reaching its full maturity
and harvested in pristine condition.
Prime central Wairau, Renwick and Brancott soils. Shallow sandy
loams over deep layers of free draining river gravels, providing
moderate fertility and low vigour.
Clonal / Rootstock Selection
An emphasis on Bordeaux clones for pure, instantly recognisable
varietal intensity and flavour. Medium-to-low vigour rootstock
selection matched for suitability to clone and soil vigour.
Throughout harvest, fruit was selected from progressively later
ripening vineyard blocks, commencing with the stonier free-draining
sites. Upon receipt to the winery, the grapes were destemmed and
transferred to the tank presses where the free-run juice was separated
and the remaining fruit lightly pressed. The juice was then cold settled
to a clear state, racked into stainless steel fermentation tanks and then
inoculated with a select range of yeasts for added complexity and
aromaticity. A slow, temperature controlled fermentation at 12-14 °C
(54-59 °F) was undertaken for an average of 14 days. After a short
period of yeast lees contact, the wine was racked for final blending
and bottled young to ensure that the fresh, crisp and elegant varietal
characters were retained.