COLOUR Rich garnet with bright red hues.
NOSE An attractive earthiness with subtle barnyard notes and a touch of spice.
PALATE Silky smooth but generous inky fruit richness on the palate and a layered texture with fine tannins.
CELLARING Drink through to December 2027.
Despite the very dry conditions in 2020, vines fared far better than the summer of 2019, when a similarly low amount of rain fell in January and February. This season was drier for longer than the previous year, with just 43mm of rain between December 21 and April 21, compared to 185mm in a normal year – do we have those anymore? March with slightly cooler than average, but with warmer days and cool nights and almost no rainfall the growing season with slightly longer, and the temperature was cooler toward the end, which meant fruit had a fuller flavour.
This was good news for grape growers, because it allowed fruit to ripen in ideal conditions without any disease pressure from botrytis bunch rot. Unlike 2019, the lower night temperatures of the 2020 vintage helped to retain acids – cool autumn nights are part of the magic of a Marlborough vintage (unless you’re on nightshift!).
Fruit for this blend was sourced from the Upper Wairau Valley and the Omaka Valley with a small component from the Awatere Valley. Predominantly machine harvested, the fruit was transferred to open top fermenters ranging in size from 5T to 10T. These were held cold for an average of 5 days to extract colour and flavour from the skins. The fruit was then warmed and yeast added to some tanks while spontaneous wild ferment encouraged in others. Once fermenting well, the cooling was opened to hold the temperature to a maximum of 32°C. The cap was plunged up to twice per day during peak fermentation. After 5 to 7 days the ferments were dry and the wine was drained off skins and the skins pressed with pressings recombined. The wine was left in tank for 48 hours then racked to barrel where it underwent malo-lactic fermentation and matured for approximately 9 months before blending. The wine was given a light egg white fining and cold stabilised before final crossflow filtration to prepare for bottling.