2022 Whitehaven Single Vineyard Series 'Block 11' Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc
Whitehaven’s single vineyard range of wines speak to the importance of terroir in creating unique, premium quality wines, and allow us to showcase outstanding, smaller parcels of fruit identified by our winemakers each vintage. Reflecting the exclusive nature of these wines, each bottle is individually numbered.
We have used a lightweight bottle to lessen this wine’s impact on the environment.
Colour / Appearance: Mid straw yellow with bright clarity.
Aroma / Bouquet: Florals, ripe citrus peel and stonefruit with a wet stone edge to the nose.
Palate: Focused and precise yet textural with restrained flavours of lemon rind, melon, lanolin and gentle vanilla notes derived from oak aging. A textured, crushed rock like character underscores the palate.
Cellaring: Being the inaugural release of this wine, we expect the wine will drink at its optimum in the immediate 4-6 years following vintage. However, we believe the wine has the structure and closure to allow continued development with careful cellaring.
Food Match: Delicious with lemon and herb chicken, goats’ cheeses and smoked or grilled seafood dishes.
Serve: Lightly chilled.
Residual Sugar: dry
Titratable Acidity: 7.3 g/L
Harvest Date: 22 March 2022
Grape Growing: The fruit for this wine came exclusively from 'Block 11' at our Paul’s Rd vineyard, adjoining the winery and alongside the Wairau river. Throughout the growing season the vines were thoughtfully managed by Vineyard Manager Corinne Turkington, with open canopies and prudent crop thinning helping to create fully ripe, clean fruit come harvest time. Fruit was hand-picked at 22 Brix.
Climate: The 2022 growing season started with soil moisture at capacity, following an unusually wet winter which had seen flooding in parts of the region. Pleasingly, the region did not suffer any major frost events and despite conditions in November being wet, the warmth that went with it meant that flowering was not drawn out and resulted in good fruit set and the prospect of healthy yields. The remainder of the season was punctuated by cooler weather and rainfall events and we were vigilant around disease pressure as we entered the harvest period. Harvest was later this year and Brix accumulation was slow. The 'Block 11' fruit stayed clean and ripened beautifully for the desired wine style – a credit to the way the block was managed in a challenging season.
Winemaking: The fruit was hand harvested and whole bunch pressed to retain purity and precision in the juice. Cloudy juice was then run to old French oak puncheons for spontaneous and warm fermentation, in an effort to draw out greater interest and complexity in the wine and build in a more savoury fruit profile suited to this style of wine.
- Rich, smooth and quite complex sauvignon blanc with weight and intensity from barrel fermentation but the wine still retains its recognisable varietal character. Well made wine in an appealing style, Bob Campbell, MW, NZ, 92/100.
- Michael Cooper, 5 stars, "The complex 2022 vintage (5*) is a single-vineyard wine, hand-harvested at Rapaura, in the Wairau Valley, and handled for over a year in old French oak puncheons. Bright, light yellow/green, it is fragrant and full-bodied, with strong, ripe, tropical fruit flavours, finely integrated biscuity oak, savoury notes, and a long, dry (1 gram/litre of residual sugar), smooth finish. Drink now or cellar."
- Bright, even, pale yellow with some depth. This has a rich bouquet packed with stonefruit, citrus, smoke flint aromas and subtle toasty elements. Medium-full bodied, aromas of peach, nectarine and lemon melded with melon, smoke flint and toast. The creamy mouthfeel embraces beautifully vibrant fruit; mouth-watering acidity elevates and refreshes the rich, toasty elements. This barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc has ripe fruit, well-structured, toasty details, lively acid tension, and a creamy, elegant mouthfeel. Match with roasted fish and pork over the next 3-5 years. Handpicked fruit from Rapaura, spontaneous fermentation, 13.3% alc, aged 13 months in old French oak puncheons. Candice Chow, 18.5+/20 pts (94 pts) Oct 2023