Clos de Ste. Anne
Clos de Ste. Anne is our "grand cru" range of wines. The grapes are grown on a steep northeastern slope in the foothills of Poverty Bay commanding a spectacular view of the surrounding vineyards below and further out to the Pacific Ocean. Original plantings are now reaching 21 years in age and include Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Naboth's Vineyard. Newer plantings have been added to expand the vineyard and now include three other varieties Viognier, Syrah, and Chenin Blanc. To date we have blended the Chenin Blanc from this vineyard into our standard wine. The new plantings of Viognier and Syrah yielded their first crop in 2005, completing the range for the Clos de Ste. Anne label. Since the beginning we have focused on single vineyard estate grown wine from our vineyards on the valley floor. Following this theme, we find no better term than "grand cru" to quantify this new property, and title it "Domaine" in reference to it being completed individually. All varieties are Bio-dynamically grown and produced on the property.
The Clos de Ste. Anne estate has been developed around the original Naboth’s Vineyard 1 Kings Ch.21, where Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were initially planted in 1980. The 30-acre property now includes vineyards, forest, amenity trees, livestock and olive plantations and has been farmed using biodynamic techniques since 1989. In 2001, additional plantings of Pinot Noir were complimented with selections of Viognier, Syrah and Chenin Blanc.
The Clos de Ste. Anne wines reflect the traditional approach to their upbringing. They are not inexpensive and have been made with respect to their terroir. They also give a sense of place, which not only includes the location, soils, the earth, water, air and light, but are an example of how we feel in the vineyard, in the winery and in the daily life of running this property. Most renowned is the high quality Chardonnay from Naboth’s which expresses depth, spine, sinew and warm minerality. It is therefore exciting to now see a devotion evolving for the other wines. The Pinot Noir has been grown on its own roots for over 20 years and is now supported with a collection of newer Burgundian clones further around the slope. The vines are influenced by the cooling sea breeze off the Pacific Ocean, enhancing the subtle elegance, attractive hue and a firm texture. This style is widely appreciated in the UK, Sweden, Japan and good dining rooms here in New Zealand.
The Viognier is planted on hard ground beside the forest where it stands for a time of the day in shadow. This makes for interesting light interceptions and the resulting taste profiles arise from these events. This site is called ‘Les Arbres’. This wine is rich and glycerous and begs for food of the same nature. Umami in fact.
Syrah is planted on the higher plateau in a little space protected from the cooling sea breezes and, facing due north, gets surprisingly hot in the middle of summer. Hence the site’s name ‘The Crucible’. Again we look to the old world for the style and texture and receive very favourable comment. Unfortunately the neighbour’s sheep ate all the new shoots in the spring of 2009 and the crop was not favourable.
All wines are produced and bottled on the property, and sealed with natural cork. They are a dream realised from memories and experiences in wine estates around the world. Domaine Clos de Ste. Anne is my “Grand Cru” and is dedicated to my wife and business partner, Annie.
James Millton, Artisan Winegrower
This vintage has the saline structure of sake with a spectrum of aromas of tangerine, lifted peach and quince, with sombre notes of apricot, mink fur and warm leather, a hint of cardamom lingers. Think Umami.