Fine wines produced by exceptional estates, many of them family-owned.
Nelson :: New Zealand
The founders of Waimea Estates, Trevor and Robyn Bolitho, began growing grapes on Nelson’s Waimea Plains in 1993. The first vintage release was of a trophy-winning Sauvignon Blanc in 1997. There are now over 130 hectares of grapes planted in six vineyards. The soils are predominantly free-draining alluvial soils. The combination of these soils with plenty of sunshine hours and a long ripening season, thanks to moderating maritime influences and a protective phalanx of hills, provide the perfect “terroir” for growing quality Pinot Noir.
The approach to this Pinot Noir is essentially traditional, with gentle handling and extraction from receival right through to bottling. This encourages a tannin structure of finesse and delicacy, without compromising the dark cherry and plum flavours. After destemming without crushing, the musts were chilled for five days to enhance aroma and colour. Inoculation followed with Burgundian yeast for the most part, while a small proportion was inoculated with Rhône yeast to add some spicy notes. In addition some vats were encouraged to undergo wild ferment to add character and interest to the final blend. These warm ferments were carefully hand-plunged or pumped over twice daily to add further flavour and colour. After settling, a portion of the wine was racked to tank to undergo micro-oxygenation, chiefly for colour stabilisation, but also to encourage the development of supple tannins to provide a more evolved and complex palate.
All portions were matured in oak and encouraged to undergo malo-lactic fermentation. After secondary fermentation had run its course, the wine was further matured in oak.