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Zephyr Gewurztraminer 2016 £14.95
Ben Glover, of Wither Hills fame, is now focusing on matters closer to home and has taken charge of his family winery, Zephyr. Referring to himself humbly as the janitor, Ben creates wines from their own vineyards in the renowned Marlborough sub-region of Dillon's Point. The whites especially deserve to be compared with other world class whites rather than merely the best of Marlborough. No more so than with the MKIII Sauvignon Blanc, that is a star in any line up. Taken from the Rabbit Island block that, thanks to its East/West planting, captures both wonderful aromatics and lush tropical notes in its grapes. Once pressed, the juice ferments in barrels to produce a complex, waxy Graves lookalike, albeit at a rather more accessible price point.
The Dillons Point sub region lies across the banks of the Opawa River very near the mouth, so the soil profile is a fertile silt loam derivative and provides a perfect site for aromatic varieties. The vines in this single vineyard were planted in 2008 with 3 different clones planted North/south on an upright trellis system (VSP) with 2-3 canes laid down to achieve a crop load of about 6-8t/Ha. Throughout the season shoots are thinned,to maintain a speckled light approach to the physiological ripening of the fruit. The picking decision is based on vine health and how the fruit looks, hangs, and the flavour, including skins, stalks and seeds.
Hand picked with a portion then crushed with stalks to promote phenolic structure as long as seeds, skins and stalks are ripe and woody. A portion is left overnight as must before pressing off as a skin contact component. The other parcel is whole bunch pressed to maintain purity. To really mix it up it also undergoes a skin ferment which is about 2% of the blend for about 5 days before draining off into barrel. In total there is about a 5% component that sees very old french oak barrels and undergoes a 'feral' fermentation. The main parcels are fermented in Stainless steel and undergo a traditional fermentation before being stopped about 4-6g/l RS. Very little additives apart from Sulphur to arrest ferment and maintain purity and brightness.
Bright straw green in colour. Enticing red capsicum, gooseberry and freshly cut lemongrass on the nose. Focused primary fruit with elegant textural weight and balanced lingering acidity. Roast Pork with quince and apple sauce. Washed rind cheese.
The Wine Advocate
"The 2016 Gewurztraminer exudes tropical fruit and rose petal notes with a ripe apple and spiced pears undercurrent. Full-bodied, off-dry, rich and oily in the mouth, it delivers plenty of pure perfumed lychee and spice box flavors, finishing long and honeyed."