Vineyard: Seifried Rabbit Island Vineyard
Sugar at Harvest: 23.7°Brix
Date of Harvest: Late March - Early April 2009
pH of Wine: 3.45
T.A of Wine: 6.3g/L
Residual Sugar of Wine: Dry
The fruit is predominantly from the Rabbit Island vineyards which are situated on a wide river flat. The soil is 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. These vineyards are about 1.5 kilometres from the sea, which helps moderate temperatures.
The “hen and chicken” berries of the Mendoza clone of Chardonnay give full tropical flavours. The grapes for this Chardonnay were grown adjacent to the winery. The fruit was harvested and brought to the winery where it was immediately pressed and cooled for a 24 hour settling period. Following this the juice was racked and warmed before inoculation. Once the ferment was active it was gravity fed to one year old French (85%) and American (15%) barriques. The wine completed primary fermentation in oak before then undergoing malolactic fermentation. During fermentation, the barrels were hand stirred every two weeks to build palate weight and structure. Following this, the wine was left sitting on lees for a further six months before being racked from barrique, blended and prepared for bottling.
The 2009 Seifried Nelson Chardonnay is an elegant cool climate Chardonnay from another good vintage in the Nelson region. The nose has nicely proportioned spicy oak notes with hints of hazelnuts alongside ripe summer stone fruits. The palate is beautifully textual with creamy palate weight offset by fine acid giving length and definition.