2014 Spring Newsletter – October 2014 Flower days, lunar eclipse & the first release of “Best End”
The First Release of “Best End” Sauvignon Blanc
To quote Viv Stanshall’s infamous antihero, Sir Henry Rawlinson, a notorious drunk, who slurred “If I had all the money I‘d spent on drink; I’d spend it on drink”
Wine and winemaking lives by that! We started planting our vineyard 15 years ago. It’s literally led to years of blood, sweat, and tears (think of losing 50% of your crop in one hailstorm). But the rewards are substantial. After all those years we are, at last, happy to release our single block Sauvignon Blanc: Churton Best End Sauvignon Blanc 2013. This is the ultimate expression of Churton Sauvignon Blanc and Churton’s unique terroir.
Sauvignon Blanc vines if treated with the same respect as say Pinot Noir: planted in a great site, looked after meticulously, cropped at low yields, picked by hand, etc; will produce wines with great character and authenticity: truly fine wines.
Don’t expect the usual, if you are a Churton fan you’ll already know that’s not what we do. But do expect a wine that has real depth and definition, length intensity and ageability.
And as Sir Henry might say, if I had all the money I’d spent on wine I’d spend it on wine. It’s worth every penny for the satisfaction we’ve gained in making a simply quite outstanding wine. If all else fails I’ll be drinking this wine over the next 10 to 15 years myself! Sam Weaver
Churton’s ‘Best End” Sauvignon Blanc comes from a tiny yield of fantastic fruit from a small, 1.2 ha, corner of the vineyard.
Cropped at 26hl/ha (regional average in 2013 90hl/ha!) and of course hand harvested, it is barrel fermented for12 months in 40% new french oak puncheons. It typifies an exceptional year for Sauvignon Blanc at Churton.
“Wow Sam, Didier Dagueneau would have been proud of that wine. Really very good!” Stephen Browett, Farr Vintners
For more info and a tasting note go to : http://www.churtonwines.co.nz/tasting-notes/best-end-sauvignon-blanc/
This year has flown by. After the trauma of the hailstorm before vintage it’s been great to settle back into a normal routine with the vineyard.
We had a fantastic fun loving and hardworking pruning crew this year. Pruning was finished spot on time on Monday 15th September. It wasn’t long after that that we started seeing bud burst. The first green tips were showing in Shoulder and Bowl on 25th September. Thank you again to our polyglot team for doing such a great job: Alejandra, Maria, Andreas and Natalia all from Chile, Eden from Israel, Felipe from Italy, Milly from Tasmania and Laura, Ben and Jack Weaver from New Zealand!
Now that we are past bud burst the season is well underway. The vineyard is looking fantastic. Though it’s pretty verdant at the moment we are having a dry spring. We’ve been able to do a lot of preparatory work, under vine cultivating, preparing and drilling our inter rows etc. This is ahead of last spring where we were very wet. The dry spring is a prelude to what is likely to be a spring dominated by the equinoctial winds: the norwesters. We’ve already had some hooligan winds. One particularly noxious one knocked over 8 of our big pine trees; one across the first three rows of Sauvignon Blanc in Brisket.
We’ve had a few important days from the Biodynamic perspective. We applied our first round of preparation 500 on 10th and 11th September. Both days ended with a bit of rain which is perfect. We then did a stir on the national day 10th October with help with some friends from the Biodynamic association council. Interesting that they chose to do the national day this year on a flower day. To mark the appropriateness we put on the 500 by hand to our especially needy blocks using switches of broom which is currently in full flower.
To cap it all last week we had the magnificent total lunar eclipse shining down as a blood red moon across the vineyard. Looking forward to another interesting growing season ahead, Salute!
- JACK IS BACK!
Back from Buenos Aires, Argentina for Summer and vintage it is great to have Jack Weaver back at Churton. Spending most of his time on the tractor at the moment, with undervine cultivation and preparing the inter-rows for companion planting, Jack has the vineyard looking fantastic!
- BEN IN FRANCE
Ben Weaver has headed over to France to work vintage at Maison M.Chapoutier’s winery at Tain-l’Hermitage in the Rhône region in France. Ben will be making his way back to NZ at the end of November via Burgundy and the UK where he will continue to seek, explore and learn.
Reviews and New Listings
- Michael Cooper has reviewed our new release wines and we are delighted to report the 2012 Pinot Noir was awarded 4 1/2 stars and the Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Viognier 2013 and Petit Manseng 2013 were awarded 5 Stars.
- Churton Petit Manseng was featured in the New Zealand Herald’s Canvas Magazine on 27 September. You can find the full review here.
- Our hard working distributors have gained new listings at the Mandarin Oriental in Singapore, Montague Arms in New Forest, Sketch London and The Shangri-La at the Shard in London.
With best wishes from Sam, Mandy, Jack, Ben, Julie and the Churton team