We decided to showcase this single vineyard wine for its unique row orientation and the interesting wine it produces. The majority of the vines on the Craighall vineyard are planted with an east – west axis towards the sun (99% of vines in New Zealand are planted on a north-south axis). This results in one side of the vine receiving more morning sunlight, where the other side receives more afternoon sunlight, and therefore heat. The variance in the fruit is noticeable and the fruit typically requires a longer time to mature. The benefits of this slower ripening are good acid retention, wider flavour profile and more variation in the shape of the tannins. Over the years many efforts have been initiated to ensure we take the maximum advantage of these aspects of our Craighall vineyard.
The nose is poised and intense with welcoming perfumes of dried figs, bramble and dark fruit compote. Raspberries and strawberry jam indicate the wine is fully ripe, where savoury notes, meatiness and frankincense shift the wine back into a complex and encompassing landscape of aromatics.
With low cropping levels- 1.5 tonnes/acre- and no irrigation, the fruit accumulates intense characters whilst staying small in berry size. As a result of this, the thick skins reach full potential for phenolic ripening. This allows for an easy extraction in the winery and high anti-oxidant potential for the wine (and hence cellaring potential). Above all, thanks to the later pick, we use the ripeness of the stems by permitting a high percentage in the ferment. This delivers a transparent yet firm tannin profile, predominantly on the front palate, but which extends fully towards the back palate. Notes of mocha, clove and cinnamon contribute to depth and complexity, with the oak merely supporting in the background. As a young wine, the juicy acidity creates an elastic and diplomatic impression, which loosens its tension with age in bottle. We expect this to evolve for another 5-8 years.
Only 650 bottles produced.
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