New Zealand 2007 - Battling The Elements
Murdoch James (Martinborough)
The vineyard is pleased to announce promising quality 2007 wines - a bonus considering the frosts and cold, wet weather during the key period of flowering; The priority at this vineyard is maintaining soil health, in order to continue producing the true quality that they seek in their wines (especially their Pinot Noirs)- and the application of organic compost is the key to this, believes viticulturist Barbara Turner.
She writes: “Blue Rock Vineyard is for us our premium producer; multiple clones of Pinot Noir give us the complexity we love in our wine. The daring and thrill of getting close to perfect growing in Martinborough is a challenge. Have I achieved it this year? Despite all that nature has hurled at us this year: frost, more frost and cold, wet southerly winds for a month at flowering the vintage is shaping up well. That says something about the continuing health of the soil and vine, and the quality of those low-yielding, premium-producing 25-yr old Pinot Noir vines. Compost is the keyword, and is to any grower ‘the life and soul of the party’- I am showing my organic tendencies here!”
“First in our vintage race will be the Pinot Gris. The Dijon clones of Pinot Noir follow close behind. As the sunny March days continue the remaining Pinot Noir and varietals are picked and processed. The Cabernets cruise slowly in last. Cabernets are not our major varieties but I like their attitude- we will get there in our own good time! By the time May arrives all the grapes will be doing their thing in barrels and tanks. This year we add a new French dimension - a visiting French winemaker- David Morin. David will help in the winery alongside (other) David and Carl. In 2007 we will crush around 65 tonnes of grapes. We are not high-production producers here; we are premium boutique vine to wine growers and proud of it.
Daniel Schuster Wines (Waipara)
Another tale of frosts and cold weather reducing the yield of most grape varieties, but, in the end, the weather came up trumps for the white wines which will present good aromatic profile, and display good definition with plenty of racy acidity. The Pinots, while exhibiting fine typicity with the complete berry spectrum of flavours as well as supple tannins and moderate weight, lack in this vintage the concentration and structure of some recent top vintages such as 2006.
This vineyard had no problems with pests or fungal infection which Danny Schuster attributes to their organic/biodynamic practices.
He gives the following account: “Warm/early spring temperatures with above average rainfall in October led to good vine growth before flowering. A couple of frosts in mid-November reduced yields by approximately 30%. Further reductions occurred due to cold, wet December weather at flowering. Post-floraison weather was warm and dry and this, together with pronounced diurnal fluctuations resulted in full grape ripeness with pronounced aromatic quality but low yields. We harvested healthy grapes by hand; there was no disease in the vineyard. Vintage started early in April (for Pinot) and finished at the end of the month with Riesling.
Due to reduced volumes the Omihi Hills Selection was not made and all top fruit was declassified into the Selection Pinot Noir and Twin Vineyards Pinot Noir respectively both of which will reveal a softer, more supple style (compared to the 2006 vintage) and should develop over 2-3 years in the bottle.
2007 was overall a better vintage for the white wines than the red wines – the latter lack the flavour concentration/ tannic length of top vintages like 95, 98, 01, 04 or 06.”