Wild whole bunch fermented, unfined, unfiltered

In 1395 Phillippe the Bold banished the Gamay grape from Burgundy in favour of Pinot Noir. There are only 5 hectares of Gamay planted in the whole of New Zealand compared with 5000 hectares of Pinot Noir - so one could say that Phillippe's edict had a far reaching effect.

We have been fortunate to visit Beaujolais, the home of Gamay, and taste the best examples. Added to this Rod was lucky to share a bottle of 1929 Morgon - a bottle that clearly illustrates the potential of Gamay to produce a truly great wine. Since then we have harboured a conviction that Gamay could be ideally suited to Hawke's Bay climate.

So it seemed like destiny when a friend let us know of this forgotten parcel of Gamay on our doorstep. With a little persuasion, the vineyard owners allowed us to take over this parcel and sculpt the viticulture to meet our ambition for the resulting wine.

The hand picked bunches are tipped directly to the open topped fermenters to ferment. The slow release of juice and grape sugars to the yeast result in a long gradual fermentation. This is helped along by periodic foot-stomping to release more juice from the bunches. Six weeks later we drain and basket press the wine directly to oak barrels. 

After the winter slumber in barrel, spring warmth catalyses a natural Malolactic fermentation. After a total of ten months in barrel, the wine is racked and bottled without fining or filtration.

The 2016 relies more on violet florals and dried herb influences aromatically than the 2015. But it still has the mineral tar/graphite like quality too. These characters garnish the core of red fleshed plum fruit. The palate has a silky fine textural entry which allows waves of flavour to emerge, and then finishes with that stem-tannin influenced twist on the finish.


To order email Emma at emma@easthope.co.nz.

Retail price $39.95, Club Price $35.95