2013 Te Arai Chenin Blanc Magnum 1.5L
This is a very limited release of a very special cult wine. 2013 was possibly one of our finest harvests and this prompted me to bottle these magnums, as much for myself as for our best customers, to enjoy in time to come.
A magnum is a statement. Mathematically it is two 750ml bottles in one. This volume means the wine matures slowly over a longer period of time. It is sealed with a cork for many reasons, mostly to balance the five phenolics. Phenolics are antioxidants in wine and they are derived from the stems, the seeds, the skins, the barrel and finally the outer cambium layer of a special oak tree, the cork.
Over this seal is the most beautiful coloured soft wax. The idea is you take your hand, put it on your heart while gazing wantedly at someone or something most beautiful, preferably seated across the table from you. Then place your hand on the top of the bottle to soften the wax and after a short while take your corkscrew and impregnate the capsule directly into the cork, place the magnum between your knees, and pull. The theatre is stimulating and this volume is enjoyed very nicely by four people. So find that corkscrew and some friends.
This wine has been resting quietly in the back of the winery for several years.
Deep hued with a glowing colour it stimulates the eye charmingly. The floral edges have now matured to a waxy robust fruit character leaving a lanolin warmth on the tongue while still maintaining a crisp finish. The wine enjoys air to bring it more to life, so find some large glasses and enjoy. I do!
The Te Arai vineyard is five kilometres from the sea. This maritime proximity underlies the wines unique South Pacific style. The silt soils give fragrance while the occasional incidence of botrytis, generated by the autumnal mists from the Te Arai stream, gives complex texture and body to the wine. In the Loire Valley of France, Chenin Blanc produces powerful wines of a similar character, which we refer to as our touchstone.
Notes from the Winemaker:
Aroma: Ripe apple, tracking towards quince, acacia honey and waxy pears, evolving to a myriad of layers as it matures.
Taste: An ethereal balancing act. The finely grained tannin from fruit and large wood bind into the clipped yet refreshing acidity, an alluring rich honeyed character will develop and intensify with time.
The inclusion of selections from the Clos Monique sub-section of Te Arai Vineyard, provide an additional dimension, with little incidence of botrytis yielding a fragrant dry wine. All grapes were hand picked and the crushed fruit was given several hours of skin contact. Fermentation and maturation in demi-muids (large 600 litre oak barrels) allows the wine to mature and harmonise with time, and without the obtrusion of oak tannins, which would otherwise disrespect the subtle fruit aromas.
We have chosen the most appropriate closure for this wine style – a natural cork. Serve about 12ºC. Store lying down. Ageing potential 15 years from date of release.
Total acidity: 4.8g/l. pH: 3.80
Alcohol: 13.5 %/ Vol. Residual Sugar: 7.2 g/l
Harvest dates: 15th - 20th April 2013
Bottled on: 21st November 2013
Released on: 1st October 2016