From the strong, deep soils of the Rose’s Rapaura vineyard comes this vibrant, precise, flavourful Riesling, evoking hot summer days and described as “tast[ing] like daffodils look” - “synesthesia” bottled.
Whole bunch pressed, unsettled, and fermented with vineyard yeasts and no temperature control in tank for 10 months, it can be enjoyed now or cellared confidently.
MarlboroughArguably New Zealand’s most famous wine region owing to international demand for Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough is also the largest wine producing region in the country, comprising 79% of New Zealand’s total wine production. Modern winemaking commenced in Marlborough in the 1970s and from tiny beginnings, the vineyard area has rapidly expanded now encompassing 23,600 hectares. Marlborough is located on the east coast of the South Island, with mountains to the west creating a rain shadow, making it one of the driest and sunniest regions in New Zealand. There are three sub regions in Marlborough, the largest being the Wairau Valley, where most plantings are concentrated on free draining alluvial soils. Viticulture has also spread to the cooler Awatere Valley, also on free draining stony loams and vineyards are also situated in the cooler southern valleys with its silt, gravel and clay soils. The soils across all three regions all have relatively low fertility to help curb the vigour of Sauvignon Blanc vines that dominate Marlborough. Although the region built its reputation on crisp, distinctively pungent unoaked Sauvignon Blanc, there is an increasing trend towards more complex barrel-ferment styles. Light-bodied, fruit driven Pinot Noir is also successful.
‘You may think you know New Zealand wines but I can assure you that until you have tasted Pyramid Valley, you have no idea. When I first sampled the earliest releases from this left-of-center producer, I was so drawn to the signature, ground-breaking if, at that time, not altogether flawless wines that I vowed to pay them a visit as soon as possible (which, given their location, is easier said than done). There was a spark of “otherness” about the wines that was so unlike anything else in New Zealand, it was difficult to say if proprietors Mike and Claudia Weersing were geniuses or mad or mad geniuses. I’m still kinda thinking there’s an element of the latter going on here but at least my first visit in 2011 and follow-up visit this year have confirmed to me that they are most definitely wine geniuses. Having searched New Zealand for their ideal plot of land to produce Pinot Noir and Chardonnay of the very highest quality, the Weersings were tempted by comradery to plant amongst their friends in Central Otago. But it was the unique, clay-limestone soils and scarp slopes near Waikari in North Canterbury that stole their hearts. In 2000 they planted vines in one of New Zealand’s newest and remotest wine regions…so new and remote it still doesn’t really have a name other than ‘North Canterbury’. Claudia is the biodynamic green-thumb and Mike is the Burgundian trained winemaker in this small-scale, hands-on operation. Everything in the fields and winery is as natural as natural can be and anyone who has followed the wines over the years will know, from tasting if not knowledge, that Mike has tested the boundaries of no / low sulfur additions and now seems to have a knack for adding just-enough to ensure stability without compromising the couples’ ethics. The results speak for themselves: astonishingly good, terroir-expressive wines that will challenge all your preconceptions.’ Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, January 2015.