$28 per bottle
The Waipara Valley is the spiritual home of Riesling in New Zealand. It’s not surprising then that it’s attracted some of the most eccentric, passionate, obsessed Riesling freaks on the planet. We fill our cellars and glasses with the avant-garde of the old world including Heymann Lowenstein, Clemens Busch, FX Pichler and Franz Hertzberger.
We’re not interested in necessarily fitting neatly inside your ‘Riesling box’, and we don’t understand the new world obsession with dryness at any cost. Instead we’re on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land of balance, texture and the expression of the vineyard.
2013 was a classic example of a warmer Waipara year showing warm days yet cool nights causing big diurnal fluctuations, (the difference between day and night temperatures); ideal for producing ripe, concentrated grapes suited to the Tongue in Groove style of Riesling. At the end of April, beginning of May it rained for a few days encouraging botrytis infection. The following two weeks had warm Nor ‘West winds which dried out the botrytis resulting in concentrated berries with ‘Noble Rot’. The botrytis adds richness, texture and an extra dimension of complexity to the aroma and flavours of the resulting wine.
The grapes for this wine were sourced from two vineyards; The Mound Vineyard and Bedford Vineyard. Both these vineyards are situated on the north facing, free draining gravel terraces associated with the Waipara riverbed, which was once a glacier. These north facing terraces with their free draining soils produce some of the best Riesling grapes in Waipara, if not New Zealand. The Mound Vineyard is well established and renowned for producing excellent Riesling grapes, especially with some noble botrytis infection. Bedford is a slightly younger vineyard with passionate owners who we love working with.
The grapes were put directly into the press and left to sit for 2-3 hours, (skin contact) which helps to extract flavour and phenolics, giving intensity and length to the palate. The grapes were then gently pressed and hard pressings separated. The mirky juice was pumped into a tank to allow settling. The juice was allowed to sit on the juice lees for about 5-6 days (a mild form of skin contact) helping intensify the typical aromas of mandarin spray, inherent to the Waipara Valley. The juice was then racked (siphon clear juice off the lees) into a clean stainless tank for fermentation. A small amount of the juice lees was added back as this produces more complex wines. A cool fermentation; 17-18 degrees maximum proceeded. The fermentation was monitored daily, checking the decreasing sugar level and temperature. The fermentation followed a classic, healthy fermentation curve and slowly petered out leaving very low levels of natural residual sugar, giving balance to the fresh acid and firm phenolics. When the wine had finished fermentation it was filtered for bottling, without extended lees contact as this can distracts from the purity of fruit flavours.
This wine is of a similar style to the previous two vintages of Tongue in Groove Riesling. A rich, ripe, full bodied wine made into a drier style which has added complexity, mouthfeel and texture as a result of the grapes being harvested late
in the season and with Noble Botryitis infection. Gorgeous aromas of beeswax, honey, apricot skins and other stone fruit prevail combined with the classic mandarin spray typical of Waipara Riesling. The palate is rich and full with
intense flavours of melon, peach and manuka honey which is balanced by lemon, lime acidity. The acid is salivating leaving the mouth refreshed and cleansed and longing for another mouthful.