Zephyr Wines, Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand, 2018
Referring to himself humbly as the janitor, Ben creates wines from their own vineyards in the renowned Marlborough sub-region of Dillon's Point. The whites especially deserve to be compared with other world class whites rather than merely the best of Marlborough. No more so than with the MKIII Sauvignon Blanc, that is a star in any line up. Taken from the Rabbit Island block that, thanks to its East/West planting, captures both wonderful aromatics and lush tropical notes in its grapes. Once pressed, the juice ferments in barrels to produce a complex, waxy Graves lookalike, albeit at a rather more accessible price point.
The Glover family vineyards, planted in 1985 alongside the meandering Opawa River, have inspired the family’s passion for wine. The vineyard is now very much an aromatic specialist with Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer and Riesling. The viticultural and winemaking philosophy embraces the structural strengths of the vineyard. The wines show classic cool climate precision matched with palate depth and the ability to support texture. Winemaker Ben Glover says "I have always wanted to express the exquisite refined bouquet, the precise structure and the 'line' of these aromatic wines from our farm. Zephyr allows me to do this - winegrowing is a natural expression and extension of what our family and I have done on this property for years and the opportunity to pay them back with home grown, world class wines is too good to be true," says Ben.
Hand picked, and 100% de stemmed, with a cold soak for about 5-7days before wild fermentation begins. Mid way through the ferment, yeasts are added to ensure a healthy and dry ferment. Hand plunged, and rack and return once, before being pressed off gently after about 18 days on skins. It is left to settle over night before being drained to French oak barrels where it is left to rest through winter and undergo Malolactic fermentation in the spring. Come January it is blended, fined and filtered before being bottle in March.
Time: 12 months; Type: French; % oaked: 100; % new oak: 30;
A bright dark cherry hue and aromas of raspberries, wild forest berry fruits with high notes of cedar and spice. On the palate, rich and vibrant with primary notes of cherry, currants and wonderfully grainy french oak. Juicy, textural tannins lead on to a succulent lingering finish.
Perfect with venison and wild berry compote, or smoked eel and buerre blanc covered new potatoes.