Stroll through a block of Sauvignon Blanc vines in the days before harvest and taste the berries from either side of the row, within the shaded areas of the canopy and from the most exposed, golden clusters. The spectrum of fruit flavours and aromas which define the bright, outgoing character of this variety are all there, loud and clear.
Greenhough, Nelson Sauvignon Blanc is a classic ‘top of the south’ style with focus on ‘crunchy’ fresh fruit and fragrance. The Hope Vineyard Sauvignon is an alternative style which explores the complexity and textural richness that comes from skin contact and wild fermentation in barrel.
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2017 Greenhough Sauvignon Blanc
A classic ‘top of the south’ style, vibrant and ‘crunchy’ in spirit. A small portion of high solids fermentation with indigenous yeasts has reigned-in the most overt of varietal Sauvignon characters and contributed subtle palate texture and depth.
Organically grown on the Home and Morison Vineyards. Vines are cane pruned to a single fruiting wire to regulate yields below 12 tonnes per hectare. This fruit was machine harvested in several parcels over eight days to ensure a spectrum and balance of flavours. Predominantly tank fermented using a selection of aromatic yeasts, around 15% of high-solids juice was wild fermented in barrel. The savoury, spicy, very textural character of this portion contrasts markedly with the fruity freshness and varietal purity of the tank fermented portion. Largely concealed within the overall blend there is nonetheless an implied layer of texture and dimension which this contributes to the finished wine.
Generous, bright aromas of floral citrus, fresh passionfruit, melon, spice and a nettly, crushed herb fragrance. The palate has an appealing breadth, a succulent core of soft citrus and rock melon suggestive of sweetness in spite of being genuinely dry in style? A fine, mineral acidity balances and refreshes this fruit-rich, almost creamy mouthfeel which finishes with a hint of aromatic spice.
2016 Hope Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc
“Delicately aromatic sauvignon blanc with gooseberry, oyster shell, mineral, lemon grass and ginger flavours. The wine has an appealing texture and impressive purity, with a lengthy finish. A classy sauvignon with power and panache.” 4/8/2017 – bobcompbell.co.nz 95/100
This ‘alternative’ Sauvignon Blanc developed from a desire to build a complex and textural wine style. Extended skin contact, wild fermentation in barrel and lees contact have contributed subtle aromatic corruption, savoury spice and phenolic interest.
A number of rows within the Hope Vineyard ‘Larches Block’ have been selected for their later-ripening rootstock and spur pruned to encourage more uniform shoot growth and even ripening. One third of the fruit was machine harvested and cood macerated for 36 hours, the remainder hand picked and gently whole bunch pressed. These strikingly different juice portions were briefly settled, transferred to Frenck oak barriques (20% new), and inoculated with a vineyard yeast pied-de-cuve. Rested on gross yeast lees for a further six months, half of the wine completed malolactic fermentation during this time.
Fragrant lime citrus, honey suckle and herbal aromas deriving from skin contact. A touch of flintiness also. The palate has a fresh, chalky texture with sweet, ripe citrus zest, fennel/anise and background oak spice. An elegant and intriguing alternative Sauvignon Blanc in a bone dry style.
“The 2015 Hope Sauvignon Blanc has a restrained citrus nose with grapefruit peel and lemon juice aromas over chopped herbs and wet pebbles, plus a touch of sweat. medium-bodied in the mouth, it offers great depth and texture with a refreshing, long and mineral/savory finish. It should develop nicely over 3-5 years.” – 90/100 Lisa Perrotta-Brown, 228 The Wine Advocate, Dec 2016