Vineyard: Murmur Vineyard AVA: Santa Maria Valley
Varietal: 100% Grenache Harvest date: September 17, 2015 (moon in Aries)
Alcohol: 12.7% abv Élevage: 10 months in neutral french 220L
Finishing pH: 3.62 Bottling date: August 15, 2016 (moon in Capricorn)
Release date: March 1st, 2017 Total Production: 239 cases (6x750ml)
This is my first vintage from a vineyard I have long dreamed of working with – Murmur Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley. Owner Rob Murray told me many moons ago that this was the coolest site in California for Grenache, and that if Grenache could ripen here, then it could most certainly ripen in New Zealand. So we did some research: growing degree days were similiar, and the sandy soils, marine influence, and south-facing vines certainly reminiscent of the upper Tuki Tuki Valley (our dream spot in the Hawkes Bay). In addition, the clone he had planted – 362 – has long been my favourite. In 2015, I received a phone call that two tons were available, and we leapt.
The vineyard sits directly adjacent to Solomon Hills, and the long, cool ripening that Rob spoke of was certainly true in 2015. We witnessed phenolic ripeness at sugar levels I generally associate with our Rosé pick, and perfect stem lignification for 33% whole cluster inclusion. Fermentation was native, and we foot tread twice daily during the 18 day transition. The wine spent nine months on gross less, and was racked once under the new moon of July 2016, before being bottled one month later.
tasting notes: pink peppercorns, palo santo and lotus flower