Whether in a theatre gallery or art gallery, it’s a place where one’s senses are aroused. A flamboyant variety like Gewürztraminer also makes an emphatic appeal to the senses with its exotic and perfumed bouquet and lingering finish.
“With exotic aromas of ginger, aniseed and nutmeg, this off-dry style has a gentle but full-bodied palate and a warm spicy finish with lingering mint and liquorice notes.” Olly Masters (Winemaker)
The 2018 vintage was one of the hottest on record with some extraordinary weather patterns resulting in a very compressed season. Early in the season, there were searing temperatures for days on end along with record low rainfall. The winds finally came later in the season and then heavy rains hit in early to mid-February. The challenges of the season were in trying to manage rapid canopy growth and keep on top of the constant threat of mildew and botrytis. In spite of the issues, we ended up with a very healthy vineyard and an overall crop level that was lower than normal due to lower average bunch weights and smaller berries. This has resulted in very good fruit concentration and very expressive wines. Our Growing Degree Days (GDDs) were 1356 and fruit for this wine was hand-picked at 3.9 tonnes per hectare.
Gewürztraminer is an extremely food-friendly wine that’s perfect with spicy food (Thai, Indian, and Mexican) as well as rich German-style schnitzel and sausages. It is also a particularly good match with pungent and soft cheeses, (oily) wild game, foie gras, and smoked salmon.
|Region||Central Otago, New Zealand||Vineyard||Estate-grown, single vineyard|
|Planting||2005, Altitude: 288 – 313m||Harvested||23 March 2018|
|Harvest Analysis||Brix: 24.2 / pH: 3.25 / TA: 4.7 g/l||Bottled||7 August 2018 (Stelvin closure)|
|Wine Analysis||Alc: 14% / pH: 3.29 / TA: 4.7 g/l||Cellaring||1 – 6+ years|
|Residual Sugar||14 g/l||Style||Off-dry|
Avoiding high levels of phenolics (tannin) is an important consideration with Gewürztraminer, hence 100% of the fruit was whole bunch pressed. In 2018 the vineyard produced some of the best-looking fruit we’ve seen. With below average yields and a warm season, early picking was required to preserve freshness. We fermented 100% of the wine in older French oak barrels to help extend the palate length. Wild yeasts were used for 25% of the barrels and the remainder inoculated with commercial yeast. The resulting wine still shows intense varietal expression and has a gentle palate. As previously, the ferment was stopped early to retain a little residual sugar (14g/l) to balance the natural acidity, phenolics and to allow the wine to age gracefully.