Long Gully Chenin Blanc 2016
The Chenin Blanc this year displays a lovely ripeness with citrus to the fore, a scent of wet stone, and greengage plum. The palate focuses in on ripe citrus, and yellow plum characters; these drive right through the palate, then the wine starts to narrow down as the focused acidity steers the wine.
Mt Difficulty Long Gully Chenin Blanc will improve for 7-15+ years given optimal cellaring conditions.
Our winter was dry so we came into the season with low soil moisture, October was significantly warmer than average leading to early bud burst, November carried this warm dry start on and whilst we had a small amount of rainfall leading into December it too was largely drier than normal. This led to an early and successful flowering. January was unseasonably changeable, whilst we had some rain it was the wind and changeability that really influenced growing conditions, delaying the onset of veraison. February cracked on with some super warm and mostly dry conditions outside of one large rainfall event late in the month. March was again unseasonably changeable and overcast with small rain events occurring through the month. Finally, the sun returned in April, along with more settled, warm weather. The variability and overcast days delayed the onset of picking. The vintage was very compact; with everything being harvested over a 24 day period.
The grapes for the wines that carry the Mt Difficulty label are subject to two strict criteria: they are managed under the umbrella of the Mt Difficulty viticultural team and must be sourced from vineyards situated in a very specific area - the South side of the Kawarau River at Bannockburn. Mt Difficulty Single Vineyard wines are even more site specific, created to express the terroir from which they come, and thus Mt Difficulty Long Gully Chenin Blanc is the essence of the vineyard itself. Long Gully consists of Lochar soils which are formed in older fans. They have very weakly developed, thin and wavy clay pans which are deep enough to cause no impediment to roots or drainage. These are well-drained, high pH soils ideally suited to viticulture. They generally have a 30 cm depth of top soil over fine to moderately coarse gravels.
We left the fruit out to ripen for as long as possible, not harvesting till the 26th of April. This was our earliest harvest yet for the Chenin, but also our ripest. The juice was handled in a reductive fashion throughout processing. The wine was racked clean and fermented relatively cool; these steps were all taken to protect the lovely ethereal character of Chenin Blanc. The nature of the fruit, with a high degree of acidity, dictated the style in which we made the wine. The ferment was stopped by chilling and racking to another tank. The wine was filtered but not fined.
|Alc. 14%||T/A 8 gL-1||pH 3.29||Residual Sugar 51 gL-1|