Whenua Matua Chardonnay 2018, Tohu, Nelson
Aromas of juicy ripe nectarine and soft smoky oak. Richly textured palate of integrated summer fruits and juicy citrus backed by hints of hazelnut and flint. Seamless balance, refinement and length.
The Studio Wine Company (Gem’s parent company) was established in 2005 in the Auckland area by Corey and Megan Hall. Their structure involves selecting small parcels of fruit from the best vineyard sites throughout New Zealand and bringing them to the historic old Pleasant Valley winery in West Auckland for vinification. Corey, who handles the winemaking, spends significant amounts of time in the vineyards and winery to ensure he get the results he wants at every stage of the process. Meg, his wife, handles marketing and administration. “The name Gem is symbolic of our approach – picking from the best regions & vineyard sites” says Corey. Gem, incidentally, is also Meg’s name backwards.
The 2017/2018 growing season began with unsettled weather that brought plenty of rain during flowering and resulted in slightly lower yields. A combination of warm and wet summer provided challenges for the vineyard. Ripe clean fruit was ready for harvest on Mar 2018. Hand-harvested grapes, gently whole-bunch pressed. Unsettled juice then moved to old French oak puncheons for fermentation. Fermentation with natural ‘wild’ yeasts, with a cultivated yeast added part way through fermentation to assist the wine to dryness. Post-fermentation, each barrel underwent twice weekly batonage (lees stirring). Malolactic fermentation occurred once the weather warmed in the spring.