Following on from the 2012 cool and sun-less Summer in New Zealand, 2013 brought a welcome return to form with one of the sunniest Summers on record. Fortunately, the abundant sunshine was not accompanied by high temperatures, making for outstanding, even grape ripening conditions while retaining natural acidity. A very compressed harvest window in Marlborough saw 95% of our fruit come off within the first two weeks of April – a full 2 to 3 weeks ahead of last year but more or less exactly on the long term average.
Crops also returned to more average numbers following the low cropping 2012 harvest with Sauvignon Blanc averaging 13.5T/Ha, Pinot Gris at 9T/Ha and Pinot Noir at 7T/Ha. Fruit across all varieties arrived at the winery in excellent condition, at moderate sugar levels and with good flavour and aromatic intensity. Acids are softer than in 2012 which will result in approachable wines, even at a relatively young age.
Following on from recent years, we continued to trial a range of ferment styles and techniques, edging up the amount of oak we use with our Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, and playing with uninoculated ferments as well as a mix of hot, fast, funky ferments and long, slow ferments to increase textural blending components for these two varieties. The Pinot Noirs have density and weight at low alcohols, with plenty of colour, and this could well be the standout variety of the vintage. Time will tell…
Peter Jackson – Winemaker