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Somewhere near the Seaview end of McLaren Vale's Chapel Hill Road, a perfunctory passerine perched her pincers astride a pair of power poles and saw herself alit. Down she went amongst the dry grown branches of an old Grenache vineyard, setting the valuable veterans ablaze. The scorched site eventually came to the attention of a winemaking trio, the Messrs Leske, Tynan & Cooke, Masters of Wine and a venerable vintner, all driven by a consuming passion to make greater Grenache. Thistledown vintage very small amounts of the most extraordinary Grenache. Beautifully detailed and conspicuously elegant, their floral bouquets and graceful finish emulate the aromatic lift and peacock's tail of a prettily perfumed Pinot Noir. Magnificent to savour as a captivating aperitif, a bliss alongside fine cuisine, the Grenache of Thistledown represent an exquisite new direction in the evolving Aussie Grenache style... Polly & the pyre to paradise»

Waimea Estate Sauvignon Blanc CONFIRM VINTAGE

Waimea Estate Sauvignon Blanc - Buy
Sauvignon Blanc Nelson New Zealand
Nelson River in general, and Waimea in particular, have a reputation for highly aromatic wines. Sauvignon Blanc is hand picked from a range of choice vineyards, including the Wells and Robertson blocks, grown to the stony alluvial soils of the Waimea Plains. Waimea Estate has garnered significant interest due to the fruit driven purity, beautifully textured palate, admirable balance and polish. Treated to whole bunch pressing and bâtonnage, achieving a multi dimensional wine, with pure varietal expression, underpinned by subtle texture.
Grapes are harvested and destemmed without any crushing, protecting the aromatic freshness naturally found in Sauvignon Blanc. Some portions were given up to six hours skin contact for added complexity and impact. After pressing the juices are cold settled for three days to achieve low solids prior to ferment. To attain vital aromatic definition, the fermentations are carried out in tank, the musts are inoculated with a range of aromatic yeasts and fermentation temperatures are kept low. For a textural component, some of the ferments underwent frequent lees-stirring for over a month after vinification was complete. Following assemblage, the wine was lightly fined, stabilised and filtered.
Brilliant, light straw in colour. Zesty and racy, this lovely example of Nelson Sauvignon has aromas of gooseberries, green apple and citrus combined with a flinty, mineral complexity. Waimea has become a popular alternative to the Marlborough style, exhibiting the essential gooseberry, lime and capsicum aromas, with a flinty palate adding to the wine's appeal. The acidity tends to be toned down and palate interest is enhanced through skin contact, yeast selection, a range of fermentation temperatures and time spent on lees. Waimea is balanced by a full and textured palate, giving the wine depth and concentration. The wine of choice to accompany the freshest seafood.
Waimea
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Waimea
One of the higher profile Nelson wineries, Waimea Estates has grown quickly in size and stature since its first vineyards were planted in 1993

The Nelson River winegrowing region in general, and Waimea in particular, have a growing reputation for aromatic wines. The Sauvignon Blanc from Waimea has become a popular alternative to the Marlborough style, essentially classical in its gooseberry, lime and capsicum aromas, with a flinty palate adding to the wine’s appeal. From the first vintage release of a trophy winning Sauvignon Blanc in 1997, Waimea Estates has attracted attention. The Nelson region boasts high sunshine hours which provide ripe fruit flavours and cool evenings which give a fresh natural acidity to the wines. The stony loam soils of the Plains, along with a moderating maritime influence and a protective phalanx of hills, create the perfect terroir to produce a wide range of grapes. This combined with the high quality viticultural management and skilled winemaking help produce an excellent array of quality wines.

Waimea

In 1993 the first vineyard of two hectares was planted, the Hill Vineyard. The 27 hectare Annabrook Vineyard was developed in 1993/4 and in 1995 the 8 hectare Hunter Vineyard was established. The 40 hectare Hope Block was planted in 1998. Over the winter of 2000 the eight hectare Packhouse Vineyard was planted. Colin’s Block was next in 2001, and then 2004/5 saw further plantings in both the Hunter Vineyard (now 20 hectares) plus a new location in Landsdowne Road (16 hectares). In 2006 another 20 hectares was planted in Colin’s Block. In total Waimea Estate now have over 130 hectares of vineyards. That’s a lot of vines whichever way you want to look at it!

Waimea Estate see themselves as guardian of the fruit between harvest and bottle, just as the vineyard workers see themselves as guardians of the land (the property is managed according to the principles of Sustainable Winegrowing). After extensive experience the aim has become one concentration, texture and balance in the wines. The philosophy is to create ultra-clean, ultra-pure fruit and densely textured, food-friendly wines.

The winery has certainly been innovative in its approaches to winemaking. Waimea Estate were one of the first wineries in New Zealand to use such new technologies as micro-oxygenation, Ganimede fermenters and cross-flow filtration. Modern winemaking delivers a synergy with those of the old world. This is illustrated well with the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Both these varieties are wild yeast fermented. The Chardonnay is oxidatively handled and fermented warm with high solids. The Pinot Noir is destemmed only (not crushed), cool macerated and fermented hot with hand plunging. Extended élevage in barrel creates wines of finesse and elegance.

Waimea

Waimea Estate is also known for iconic sweet wines – a Noble Riesling that has won trophies with every year of its production, an auslese-style Late Harvest Riesling and, latterly, a very interesting (and highly awarded) Noble Chardonnay. Besides the Pinot Noir, a further red is made in limited volume: a Merlot Cabernet blend with attractive mocha characters and not a hint of greenness. A delightful Pinot Rosé is also made – from high-quality Pinot Noir grapes; the wine is unusually part barrel-fermented in lightly-toasted oak, giving a strawberries and vanilla cream character.

The use of lees stirring is a distinct feature of the Waimea approach to aromatic wines – it is also used for Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer. These last two wines have garnered significant interest due to their fruit-driven purity, their beautifully textured palates and their admirable balance and polish. Michael seeks to minimise unattractive phenolics by minimizing skin contact – the fruit is hand-harvested and whole-bunch pressed, and the juice has a very early press cut and is fermented with negligible solids. Fermentation is invariably stopped when the wine is off-dry, to bolster the palate with fruit sweetness. The only aromatic wine Michael does not use bâttonage on is the Riesling, where an approach of ‘less is more’ is taken. For the winery’s Dry Riesling clean fruit is very simply handled to focus the attention on pure fruit expression, while the slightly sweeter Classic Riesling is made more luscious through the inclusion of some botrytised fruit.

Waimea Estates is committed to sustainable practices in both the vineyard and winery and have been accredited to Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ) for some years now. This programme is based on three core principles: environmental soundness, social responsibility and economic viability. The programme was developed to: Provide a best practice model of environmental practices in the vineyard for winegrowers, with a scorecard acting as a reference document for growers through the season and from season to season. Provide quality assurance through an auditable production record from vineyard to winery. Address consumer concerns about the environment and winegrape production. Affirm New Zealand’s reputation for being a clean green country.

Waimea