89 Points - Bob Campbell MW, 'The Real Review' therealreview.com
Vineyard: Seifried Brightwater and Rabbit Island Vineyards
Sugar at Harvest: 23.2°Brix
Date of Harvest: Mid March 2019
pH of Wine: 3.41
T.A of Wine: 5.0g/L
Residual Sugar: Dry (1.2g/L)
The Brightwater vines are grown in an extremely stony area of the vineyard where water and nutrient levels are low. this helps us to restrict the plants vigour and to crop at low levels. Our Brightwater Vineyard is situated 15km from the coast and is sheltered from the south by the Richmond ranges. The ‘soil’ is a combination of rocks and boulders which is very hard on the farm equipment but vital for holding the warmth of Nelson’s sun and for ripening the grapes.
Our Rabbit Island Vineyards are situated on a wide river flat. The soil is made up of gravelly sandy loam, which marks the sites of Maori kumara beds (sweet potato) prior to European settlement in the early 1800’s. The Maori transferred and spread fine gravel and sand over the land to provide suitable soils for their kumara plantings. Scrub was burned to give ash and charcoal, which increased soil fertility and gave characteristic topsoil. This fertility is now considerably reduced due to modern farming. The soils are, however, very sandy and free draining. The water table is relatively high ensuring adequate underground water.
Careful canopy management and leaf removal around the fruit zone allowed the sun to fully ripen the grapes. After picking, the grapes were transported to the winery where they were gently de-stemmed and pressed. The juice was settled and fermented at a cool temperature to retain fruit aromas. On completion of the primary fermentation, 70% of the wine was aged in French oak, for several months. Malolactic fermentation was then completed on 80% of the blend.
The 2019 Old Coach Road Nelson Chardonnay has warm toasted coconut aromas on the nose with succulent summer peach and citrus. The palate is generous with spicy oak, brioche and juicy grapefruit characters and leaves a long warm finish.