Whether dry, medium or sweet, our first concerns in Riesling are balance and fruit purity. We hand harvest the cleanest, healthiest bunches and ferment cool in stainless steel. Such handling allows these wines to tell the story of their soil and surroundings with greatest clarity.
Hope Vineyard Riesling includes some of our oldest producing vines planted in 1976. It’s slightly off-dry and succulent, yet alive and energetic. Apple Valley Riesling is a lighter, lower alcohol style. Juicy sweet fruit is offset by a mouth wateringly fresh finish.
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2016 Apple Valley Riesling
This Riesling is grown on the Barraud Vineyard, Upper Moutere, where the weathered clay soils slope gently to the edge of the Waimea Inlet. Hand harvested from 12 year old vines planted at a moderate density of 3400 per hectare, we take the fruit while brix levels are low. We pick only the cleanest of fruit to promote the purest flavours.
The fruit is gently whole bunch pressed and settled before it is inoculated with a low vigour, aromatic yeast and cool fermented. At the point that sugar and acidity come into balance, the wine is chilled to stop the fermentation. The Apple Valley style typically sits somewhere between 35 and 45 grams of residual sugar with alcohol in the lower range of 8.5-10 percent. Key to the style is a precise balance between retained sweetness and racy acidity. Delicate citrus florals combine with fresh, red apples, nectarines and flinty notes. The palate is light yet deliciously juicy and sweetly fruited. This sweetness is underpinned by a lively, intensifying acidity which emerges seamlessly and extends to a long and elegantly refreshing finish.
2013 Hope Vineyard Riesling
“Crisply, dryly floral with a real aromatic intensity, this wine [Hope Vineyard] is invariably one of the finest Rieslings in the country in any vintage.” Keith Stewart, The Great Wines of New Zealand 2005
“This is an elegantly concentrated complex dry Riesling with lime fruit and secondary toast, mineral and kero notes on a fine-textured line.” 18.5+/20 Raymond Chan
“Certified organic, the 2014 vintage (4*) was mostly handled in tanks, but 30 per cent was fermented in old oak barrels, to ‘enhance palate texture and richness’. Pale lemon/green, it has a highly scented, slightly toasty bouquet. Medium-bodied, it is a distinctive, tangy wine, with a minerally streak and strong, lively, slightly sweet (11.5 grams/litre of residual sugar) flavours.” Michael Cooper
A few rows of own-rooted Riesling vines planted over forty years ago gave us the fruit for our first Riesling in 1991 and continue to provide the nucleus of this single vineyard, organic wine. Additional fruit comes from our ‘Road Block’ planted in 1996. These vines too are now mature. Selective hand harvest excludes any botrytis influence from this style. Whole bunch pressed, settled and tank fermented with selected, low vigour yeast. A slow fermentation is easily stopped at the point that remaining sugar and acid come into balance. A period of months in tank on yeast lees allows the palate to soften and build additional depth, as does time in bottle before release.
This wine is very much the product of a magnificently warm summer of sunshine punctuated by rainfall in late February, beginning a cooler, settled month leading into harvest. These conditions proved perfect for varietal flavour development. This Riesling is still very youthful in all respects. It shows complex aromas of limes, apples, white stone fruits and subtle savoury, minerals. The palate is defined by delicate citrus flavours, sweet hints of honey and toast notes. Texture is fine-grained and a ripe, piquant acidity provides mouthwatering succulence and energy. A few grams of retained sweetness (through stop-fermentation), has been key to the harmony within. It creates soft mouthfeel and smooth flow across the palate, deftly balancing and supressing any suggestion of austerity.