In late 1990, a young couple left Auckland to re-settle in a rural pocket of Nelson, encouragingly named ‘Hope’. Swapping city for country life, Andrew and Jenny took on a four- hectare property determined to create something of their own. The vineyard had been partially established in the mid-70s by a pioneer amateur winemaker. From a single hectare planted in the mid-1970s, the home vineyards have grown to almost nine. Prized parcels of original vines planted in 1976 remain as some of the oldest in the region. The nearby Morison Vineyard, established in 2000, adds a further four hectares. Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are our mainstays, with small blocks of Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Gewurztraminer providing colour.
Ripe and fresh strawberry aromas, with summer berry-fruits, citrusy, floral notes and a lightly spiced, herbal fragrance. Quite Burgundian in style, the palate is vibrant and bright, with a light spicy savouriness and supple structure of well-bound tannins. There is a depth in the exotic guava and quince which have a secondary, preserve-like richness. A refreshing plum-skin tanginess and chalky, minerality balances these ripper flavours.
Delicious with a rack of lamb
The grapes were harvested and transported to the winery for immediate crushing to capture the freshness of the fruit. Fermentation was conducted at cool temperatures, around 14 degrees C using selected yeast strains. Following fermentation the wines were left on their lees to gain richness and complexity before blending and bottling.
Wine Advocate 92 points. Jancis Robinson, 16.5 points: "Lively ruby colour. Quite intense nose with some richness. Then soft, appealing, quite vegy fruit and a spicy finish. This is not trying to be burgundy but it does succeed in its own way. Some subtlety on the – only slightly dry – finish."