Vinoptima Noble Late Harvest Gewurztraminer (2007) - 375mL
per bottle in a dozen or
$300 in a single transaction
Winemaker: Nick Nobilo
Variety: 100% Gewurztraminer
Region: Ormond, Gisborne Vintage: 2004 - ‘Indian Summer Vintage’
Season rating: 9.5/10
Brix at harvest: 37°
Brix average Fermentation: German oak ovals.
Malolactic fermentation: Nil
Maturation: 12 Months
Alcohol: 12.5% vol
Residual sugar 115 grams/litre
Perfect for long term cellaring (10 years, plus)
Vinoptima (Latin for “best wines”) is a single variety, 8 hectare vineyard estate created by Nick Nobilo in Ormond, near Gisborne on the East Coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Based on the French paradigm of terroir and combining the best of both old and new world winemaking practices the vision for Vinoptima is simply to produce world class Gewurztraminer.
‘The Indian Summer’
2004 The 2004 season was one of the best on record for the Gisborne region and it was clear, early in the season, that provided the weather remained kind during the late summer, we would be in for something special.
Mercifully, the weather held with hot summer days producing fully ripe grapes and cool nights enhancing flavour development in the berries. In fact the conditions were so good that we were able to leave the grapes on the vine longer than normal and produce a limited quantity of a late harvest botrytised wine, referred to in Alsace as – ‘Selection de Grains Noble’ (SGN).
It’s common, during seasons where the conditions are ideal, for winemakers to leave some of the grapes on the vine. A grey fungus, Botrytis cinerea or Botrytis (it’s also sometimes known as Botrytis bunch rot), then forms on the grapes. This fungus can give rise to two different kinds of infections. The first, grey rot, is the result of consistently wet or humid conditions, and typically results in the loss of the affected bunches. The second, noble rot or Edelfäule in German, occurs when drier conditions follow wetter, and can result in distinctive sweet dessert wines.
The fungus sucks the water from the grapes, leaving behind a higher percent of solids, i.e. sugars, acids and minerals, resulting in a more intense concentrated final product. The wine is often said to have an aroma of honeysuckle and a bitter finish on the palate. Botrytis complicates winemaking by making fermentation far more complex.
Botrytis produces an anti-fungal that kills yeast and often results in fermentation stopping before the wine has reached sufficient levels of alcohol. Makers of fine German dessert wines have been known to take their fermenting tubs of wine into their homes, to nurture the yeast through the night, to assure that the alcohol level reaches legal minimums for the product to be called wine. At Vinoptima we have developed a special rain cover system that affords us much greater control over the conditions in the vineyard once the desired noble rot has formed.
With the vines showing all the classic signs of noble rot and the perfect conditions prevailing, the decision was made to leave some of the grapes on the vine for an extended period. The grapes were finally hand-picked in mid June when the vineyard was completely bare of leaves and the berries resembled raisins. The botrytised bunches were destemmed and the grapes underwent a slow, prolonged pressing in a pneumatic press. The juice was then returned back into the press and the process repeated. The juice was cold racked and no finings were used prior to fermentation.
Fermentation was conducted in a 1200 litre German Oak oval over several months and the new wine racked after 6 months. The bottled wine cellared for just over 2 years to allow further development of the wine prior to the release.
An alluring array of sweet dried fruit flavours with a luscious lingering finish.
The 2004 Vinoptima Gewurztraminer Noble Late Harvest is yellow-gold in colour and exhibits an alluring sweet botrytis aroma. A fragrant array of exotic and dried fruits including figs, dried apricots and andromeda dates are set against a background of mandarin. The palate is intense and luscious with butterscotch toffee, Manuka honey and zesty lemon/lime and mandarin flavours. The finish is tart with a slight bitter-sweet tang.
The wine has a distinct oily texture that holds the layers of flavours and coats the tongue, giving the wine and incredibly long finish. A harmonious and hedonistic wine that is deliciously sweet and smooth.
For maximum enjoyment and to fully appreciate the scintillating aromas and delightful taste sensations encapsulated in the 2004 Vinoptima Noble Late Harvest we recommend pairing with more delicate desserts so as not to overshadow the wine. Ideal accompaniments include poached pears with star anise anglaise; lychee ice cream and candied ginger sorbet; crème brulée with manuka honey roasted stone fruit; fig and ginger torte; and Brie with fresh dates and roasted macadamia nuts.
Vinoptima Noble Late Harvest is bottle-aged at the winery prior to release to ensure it is ready for enjoyment upon purchase. It is always difficult to determine how long a particular wine will continue to improve however premium Gewurztraminer made in this way is often cellared for many years. This 2004 Vinoptima Noble Late Harvest is just starting to show its full potential and will continue to evolve with careful cellaring (10 years plus).