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Winemakers Reserve Chenin Blanc 

Esk Valley has long been associated with Chenin Blanc and for many years we were one of a very select group promoting this noble grape of the Loire, occasionally adding a sweet bottling to our offering. This recently bottled 2019 Winemakers Reserve Chenin Blanc, marks a return to a dry style, last produced in 2013. This wine is the first bottling for us from Ian and Linda Quinn’s Two Terraces Vineyard inland at Maraekakaho. Grown on a stony river terrace above the Ngaruroro River, this site is well suited, with high daytime temperatures and correspondingly cool nights. To make it even more interesting two clones (220 and 880) are planted and both were utilised in our finished wine.

 

VINEYARD DESCRIPTION
This is a single vineyard wine from the Quinn's Two Terraces Vineyard at Maraekakaho. Situated on a stony river terrace above the Ngaruroro River, this is a warm and welldrained site, benefitting also from cool nights due to its inland location. The vineyard is planted with clones 880 and 220, each of which has been utilised in the finished wine. Intensive viticultural practices including shoot and bunch thinning, along with leaf removal has been employed in the pursuit of quality.

WINEMAKING
The fruit was handpicked and whole-cluster pressed.  Both clones planted were fermented separately in a mix of large old French oak Demi Muids and small tanks. No yeast was added, allowing the fermentation to be conducted by wild yeast. Given the high sugars at harvest a portion of the wine was stop fermented, to contribute a richness to the finished blend. The wine was left on its fermentation lee's with regular stirring until late January 2020, before blending and bottling.

WINEMAKER'S COMMENT
This is a rich and full-bodied style of Chenin Blanc. It showcases the yellow fruit nature of Chenin Blanc, with notes of pineapple, quince and honey evident. The wine is complex with a small amount of residual sugar providing richness in a Vouvray demi-sec style. Delicious as a young wine, the wine will also gain further complexity with time in the bottle.

IDEAL DRINKING
2020 - 2030