Woah what a vintage!
This was our earliest harvest on record starting 1st March and the quality is outstanding. We are a good two or three weeks ahead of where we would normally be at this time of year and currently in the thick of Sauvignon Blanc blending with our first wine about to head out the door for bottling.
There were late spring frosts in Marlborough and we had some challenging weather over the flowering period, which resulted in moderate crops throughout the region. These moderate crops, coupled with a warm and stable end to the growing season, set us up for an early start with superb fruit. We had clear warm days throughout March, so we could pick at our leisure without any pressure from the elements.
Sauvignon Blanc from this season is simply put, stunning. Tasting the fruit in the vineyard, the Sauvignons had incredible intensity of flavour and reached perfect maturation, while maintaining that classic Marlborough vibrancy. We completed our annual Sauvignon Blanc grading (where we line up samples of the individual Sauvignon Blanc tanks from the vintage, taste them blind and rate them) a few weeks ago now and this was one of the most exciting sessions I have been involved in. Sauvignon quality is universally great this season; we had a very hard time choosing our favourites! The wines that did come out on top were from our Seaview Vineyard, which delivered Sauvignon with weight and texture and that classic Seaview minerality and flowering herb aromas. We are incredibly excited about the Sauvignon this year and can’t wait to get this into bottle to share with the world.
This year’s Pinot Noir is incredibly complex, with an exotic mix of ripe plush characters and lifted bright red crunchy fruits. We found that clone 777 had the most uniform berry size this season, but generally Pinot Noir had small bunches, with variable berry sizes, making picking decisions challenging due to differing berries and varying ripeness. The smaller berries were starting to shrivel and the larger berries in the bunch were still ripening. The resulting Pinot Noirs are elegant and structured with great energy and depth, intensely coloured and I can’t wait to see these wines come out of barrel in 9 months’ time.
We have had an incredible season and I can’t wait to get our 2021 wines out the door for people to enjoy. From tasting in the vineyard, through to blending and balancing, these wines have been a pleasure to work with. Hopefully that joy and pleasure from the 2021 harvest flows through and you can taste it in your glass.
Nat Christensen, Chief Winemaker