I do not often mention the influence of the season in the tasting notes but 2017-18 was an exceptional case; not perfect by any means but the results were astounding. An unprecedented hot and dry spring and early summer period set the fruit up so nicely that late season rain, humidity and even a brace of tropical cyclones couldn’t spoil the luscious ripe flavours.
Don’t be fooled by the diminutive grapefruit/lime hue, this wine packs a punch! Big, blonde and brassy, it steps out with a bowl full of uplifted stewed nectarines and baked apple. Bright coloured Cape gooseberry and fragrant bearded Iris generate warm fuzzies and are followed by snapped wafer biscuit, roast pumpkin kernels and a hint of blue gun-metal. Broader aromas of grilled zucchini layered with hummus and manuka honey spread on ginger bread keep building in the glass.
When sipped it bursts with concentration and mouth fill – lively, vivacious and vibrant. Heavy chunks of sweet melon greedily gorged with rich Peach Melba fill up the senses and give the wine a life of its own. To plagiarise the poetic lyrics of talented Kiwi songwriter Thomas Oliver, the succulent acidity “feels like water on the hottest day and will flow like a river, into your deep blue sea….” The gorgeous viscosity, with the thickness of treacle, puts the balance right on point and as it draws to the finish, there lingers a hint of malt then a slightly chalky edge as the super-flinty phenolics cut in. One can only imagine what this wine will be like in 3 or 4 years’ time.