We love Riesling as a variety for its purity, elegance and ageability and believe that our old block vines (now more than 38 years old), combined with the growing conditions and climate here in Marlborough, are capable of making world class Riesling. The original Riesling vines on our home block were planted in 1979 and are the oldest Rieslin vines in Marlborough. Part of the reason for our conversion to organic and biodynamic farming was to rescue these old vines and coax them back to life. We saw huge potential in this old block and successfully rejuvenating them has been one of our greatest achievements. The fruit from these old vines has great fruit concentration and structure as well as great natural acidity that lends itself very well to making a dry style of Riesling.
In the spring of 2016 we experienced some wet weather over flowering, which adversely affected fruit set and reduced our crops by up to 30%. The later part of the growing season was more a return to the long-term average after two very warm seasons in 2015 and 2016. Vintage 2017 had some potential challenges, with the tail end of two cyclones which brought some significant rain to the region. But our careful yield management combined with meticulous canopy management, meant that our vines produced ripe flavours before the arrival of the big rain events. We had all our fruit off early and had some of the cleanest fruit we have ever seen. The resultant wines are finer boned than the 2016s with more moderate alcohols but with great purity of fruit, bright aromatics and ripe, juicy acidity.
All the grapes for this wine were hand-picked and hand-sorted. The fruit was then destemmed, gently crushed, and air-bag pressed. Some parcels given skin contact time. All parcels were fermented in stainless steel tanks that were purpose-built for Riesling. We like very slow, cool ferments for the Riesling to help retain all the great floral aromatics. This wine has not been fined and is suitable for vegans and vegetarians and anyone else who loves authentic, truly handmade wines. Alcohol 12%; RS 3.3g/L; TA 7.3g/L.
This wine has gorgeous lifted aromas of jasmine, fresh lemon, and ripe Kaffir lime follow through on to the palate. Flavours of fresh lime juice, lemon sorbet and ripe grapefruit with hints of floral spice are balanced by a fine backbone of ripe acidity. This Riesling is a dry style which has excellent fruit weight and concentration to balance the lingering mineral acid structure. This wine is finely structured with great length of flavour. This 2017 Riesling ‘D’ is drinking well now and will also benefit from careful cellaring for 6-8+ years.