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An ‘alternative’, partially barrel aged New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, from the prized Hope Vineyard, developed from a desire to build a complex and textural wine style.
A number of rows within Greenhough’s Hope Vineyard ‘Larches Block’ were selected for their later-ripening rootstock and spur pruned to encourage more uniform shoot growth and even ripening. One third of the fruit was harvested and macerated for 36 hours, the remainder gently pressed immediately after picking. These strikingly different juice portions were briefly settled, transferred to French oak barriques (17% new), and inoculated with a vineyard yeast pied-de-cuve. The wine rested on gross yeast lees for a further eight months and completed malolactic fermentation during this time.
Aromas are distinctly varietal – ripe yet fresh in equal measure. Floral, fragrant with notes of zesty citrus oil and herbal, caraway and fennel seed characters, with an added depth of savoury oak, yeast lees and a sniff of struck match complexity. The palate is incisive and attractively structured, its light, natural fruit sweetness, hints of malolactic and integrated yeast characters soften and enrich the whole.
This has layers of complexity. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has a tight, deep and intense core of concentrated flavours of green stonefruits entwined with fresh herbs, stalks and cut-grass unfolding greengage and nettle notes. This is a complex, oak-influenced Sauvignon Blanc with green stonefruits and cool-spectrum flavours on a palate with fine textures and very good linearity. 18/20.
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