While Chardonnay’s spiritual home is Burgundy in France, Chardonnay is now grown wherever wine is produced. Marlborough’s cool climate Chardonnays are concentrated, complex, and well balanced thanks to our warm days and cool nights. More citrus focused than big and tropical, the pristine fruit shines with careful use of oak, and sometimes the wine undergoes malolactic fermentations to soften the higher acidity. This happens when malic acid is converted to lactic acid – a natural fermentation to tame acidity.
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Grown in the stony soils of our Home vineyard, handpicked fruit was gently pressed into French oak, fermented spontaneously and aged for 11 months. Aromas of ripe stone fruit, flint and citrus zest integrate with bold flavours of vanilla and brioche. The palate is powerful yet elegant expressing the excellent fruit weight balanced by fine acidity.
After a lower yielding 2021 vintage, Marlborough was blessed with outstanding weather in December providing near perfect flowering conditions and a subsequent great fruit set. This translated into an increased number of berries per bunch, and helped offset the slightly lower than average bunch numbers which was a result of the cooler weather we experienced during flowering in 2020. The great weather conditions continued through January with above average daily temperatures and sunshine hours, punctuated by timely periods of rainfall. This ensured optimal soil water status giving great canopy development and health. Initially it looked like an early start to harvest but then we saw periods with cooler temperatures and increased rainfall in late January and early February. This slowed development and extended the ripening period with harvest commencing in the 3rd week of March and concluding at the end of April. The extended ripening period has led to wines with great balance and poise ensuring some outstanding components to go into this years’ blends.
The grapes were carefully hand harvested in the early hours of the morning and returned to the winery in small bins. After gentle whole-bunch pressing in our basket press the juice was fermented in a mix of new and seasoned French oak. Free run juice was kept separate from the pressings and the wine underwent wild fermentation and then malolactic fermentation. After 11 months in barrel, the wine was blended and bottled on the Rose Family Estate.
Harvested March - April
The Wairau Valley is one of three zones – along with the Southern Valleys and the Awatere Valley – which make up the heartland of New Zealand's Marlborough wine region. It accounts for approximately 45 percent of plantings within the wider region. An extensive patchwork of vineyards surrounds the town of Blenheim in the north-eastern corner of the South Island, near where the Wairau River meets the Pacific Ocean.
The Wairau Valley is a wide river valley that follows the Wairau River from the Spenser Mountains in the west to the Pacific at Cloudy Bay. The Richmond Mountains in the north separate it from the sunny region of Nelson, and the Wither Hills in the south protect the valley from harsh weather systems from the south-east.
In the low-lying area along the Wairau River Rapaura and Renwick are the most established zones. However in recent years vineyard plantings have extended further west along the narrow valley floor.
Wairau Valley has a warm, dry climate that is moderated during the growing season by sea breezes from Cloudy Bay. Hot sunshine during the day and cold ocean winds at night extend the ripening period in the grapes, leading to a balance of fruit complexity and acidity. This diurnal temperature variation is essential to the terroir in the Wairau Valley – without it, much of the classic punchiness of the wines made here would be lost.
Where are your wines manufactured?
All our wines are made on site in our winery. We draw fruit from our 15 estate vineyards, which means they are owned by us. We built our winery in 2002.
Does your Reserve Chardonnay have oak?
Yes we use 100% French oak and the wine undergoes natural fermentation to give the wine elegance and poise. The oak integrates well with the fruit in the wine to give complexity and texture.
How can I keep the wine fresh once a bottle has been opened?
To keep an open bottle of wine fresh, ensure the cap is tightly sealed after every glass pour. Our white wines and rosé should be stored, cap on, in a refrigerator to slow down oxidisation. For our red wines, keep the wine bottle out of light and stored at room temperature (below 21 degrees Celsius or 70 degrees Fahrenheit), or in a refrigerator.
How long will your wine last when opened?
White wines are good for 1-2 days and red wines for 3-5 days if stored correctly.