Muddy Water Riesling James Hardwick 2014
Yellow-gold in colour. Rich and inviting on the nose with peach and rock-melon fruits flowing through to an expanse of elderflower, wild fennel and cloves. Similar flow through the palate with nectarine, preserved lemon, baking spices and the smoke of Manuka wood. Beautiful intensity, length and generously layered.
Our Riesling block is named after family friend James Hardwick, whose passion for Riesling inspired the original owners to create a high quality Riesling in a contemporary Alsace style. Tucked behind a stand of pine trees, they're the first vines you see as you come up the long, winding drive to the winery.
The vines are from cuttings from the first Riesling ever planted in Waipara: the renowned Corbetts Block, source of the famous Corbans Amberley Riesling cult wine of the 1980s. Grown on their own roots for full, natural expression, the vines have been spur-pruned since 2007 and we also shoot thin to control fruit growth. Through the combination of clone type, cool climate and careful hand-tending we can achieve wonderfully low cropping levels - unusual for Riesling - with the vines producing restrained quantities of perfectly small bunches packed with exquisitely intense flavour.
Citrus and white-fleshed stone-fruits in a balanced off-dry style are signature expressions from this block, with individual vintages running the gamut from fresh and crisp through to sweeter toffee-like silkiness. An underlying chalky minerality speaks loudly of our clay-lime soils.
We hand-pick fruit in the early mornings of late autumn when the days are dry and nights are cool, selecting only the bunches with perfect ripeness, and then press the whole bunches slowly for purity of flavour. We allow for wild fermentation without the intervention of commercial yeasts or nutrients, stopping the process when there's just enough sweetness present without being cloying.