Broad and even nose of ripe gooseberry fruit intermixed with greengages, spicy herbs and nutty barrel-ferment aromas that reveal good depth in the glass.
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Layers of citrus fruits and nuts unfold lending complexity and interest. The palate has plenty of mouthfeel and presence.
Softly full and aromatic bouquet with a good core of strawberry fruit with raspberry notes, interwoven with delicate herbal and liquorice elements
Aromas of fresh gooseberry, passionfruit and papaya. The palate is full of tropical fruits and citrus characters which continue through to a long refreshing finish
Wine that has been fermented and aged in oak barrels has a longer shelf life than non-barrel aged wines and because it peaks for a longer time it remains at its best for many years.
It mellows with age becoming creamier, smoother and develops subtle changes with flavours of spice.
Barrel fermented wine cannot be hurried in the wine making process. It takes 18 months to 2 years to complete. Even then not every barrel meets the high standards of our winemaker for flavour and therefore after 2 years of maturing may end up being reassigned.
Due to the wine making process of barrel fermented/aged wine we produce a wine with lower sulphite levels.
In New Zealand, on average, we have lower sulphur/sulphite levels than most other countries which makes our wines more approachable to wine drinkers who are affected by high sulphur wines. I would estimate that we would use 30-50% less sulphur to make the Hawksdrift wines than a warmer climate wine producer.
When we analyse a wine we measure the 'free' and 'total' sulphur levels. The free sulphur component refers to the active sulphur available to effectively protect the wine in the barrel, tank and bottle, the total sulphur level refers to the amount of 'bound' sulphur which used to be free sulphur and is now ineffective in protecting the wine. Both components are regular measured up to bottling as F502(free) and TS02(free + bound) in ppm or mg/L.
Depending on the export market the maximum Total S02 level is 250 mg/L for dry, white wine and 150 mg/L for dry red wine. The Hawksdrift wines are on average <100 mg/L total S02.
High sulphur wines are usually cheaper wines and/or wines from warmer climate areas because it takes more sulphur to protect the wine during the winemaking practice. Additionally, due to the cooler climate here in Marlborough we have slightly higher natural acidity which means that less sulphur is needed to protect the wine from oxidation. Another reason is that the Hawksdrift wines are handpicked and whole bunch pressed which also reduces the need to add more sulphur during process.