EASTHOPE FAMILY WINEGROWERS
2015 SKEETFIELD, HAWKE'S BAY, CHARDONNAY

1200 BOTTLES MADE

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Hand picked, whole bunch pressed, wild ferment, unfined, unfiltered.

The vinous stars all align on the Skeetfield Vineyard, owned by Denis and Sally Gunn. 

23 years ago this site was planted with Mendoza Clone Chardonnay vines. The union between the soil, the climate and these mature vines result in grapes that Hawke’s Bay winemakers fight over. So we consider ourselves very fortunate to access a few carefully chosen rows.

The resulting Chardonnay grapes possess considerable flavour and a natural balance that allows us to indulge our quest to craft a wine using artisanal techniques. Hand picking is the crucial starting point, followed by whole bunch pressing which aims to extract not only the juice, but also a high proportion of grape solids. The cloudy juice is then run directly to oak barrels where a natural fermentation occurs – these techniques being crucial to unlocking the mineral and floral elements from the fruit.

Then comes winter where the wine sleeps undisturbed until spring warmth encourages malolactic fermentation to proceed naturally. This Chardonnay spends a total of ten months maturing in barrel and in contact with yeast lees.

Sometimes it is the things that you don’t do that allows fruit like this to shine; we only use a small proportion of new oak (25% in 2015), we don’t palate or protein fine, and we don’t worry about preventing acid crystal formation in bottle. This natural unrefined finishing approach results in more site specific qualities to be fully expressed. However, it does mean that time in bottle may result in a harmless, natural deposit to form – to us this is the mark of wine crafted with respect for the special vineyard that is – Skeetfield.

Aromas of gunflint, white fleshed peach, and lemon blossom spring forth. The palate possesses great weight, texture, balance and length. Can be enjoyed now or matured for the next five years. 

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

Retail price $39.95, Club Price $35.95