Vintage 2005 Marlborough

In 2005 we produced about 5500-6000 cases. A slow but steady growth; quality and individuality are our primary concerns rather than volume.

2005 will be remembered by Marlborough winemakers as probably the easiest and most orderly vintage for at least ten years!

 

Sauvignon Blanc Pinot Noir
Weather Conditions

The 2005 season started with good regular rain during the winter months with slightly below average temperatures. This lead to slow bud break which was about a week or ten days later than usual. The early part of spring continued relatively mild with regular weekly rainfall that encouraged good even shoot growth.

Late spring and early summer were dreadfully cold and damp with some heavy rain events. The key problem was that the vines were cold and wet most of the time. This had a major effect on flowering particularly with Pinot Noir. Our own Waihopai Slopes Vineyard at 200m above sea level suffered particularly badly with very low and very uneven fruit set. Pinot Noir flowering is usually the last week of November through to the first week of December. Our pinot struggled to flower right through to just before Christmas. Sauvignon blanc faired better and though crops were limited the flowering was much more even and less prolonged.

 

Summer finally arrived on 5th of January, just as everyone had finished all the statutory holidays! We then had a great summer warm sunny and dry all through January, February and March. Due to the late and slow flowering veraison was very late and was not really completed until the end of February. However, the continuous warm days through to the end of March allowed for good controlled growth and for the soil to dry out sufficiently exerting some stress in the Pinot vineyard. Water stress is very important in our view particularly with red varieties like Pinot Noir as it restricts the berry size thus increasing solids to juice ratio (this gives great concentration of flavour aroma and colour). It also helps ensure that tannin develops well producing softer more supple tannins.

Easter was early this year at the end of March. In some respects we were dreading it as it fell on the dates we normally pick our Pinot. Fortunately due to the late flowering and slow veraison picking was delayed till after Easter. This was just as well as we had a cold wet Easter. This caused some anxiety amongst all Marlborough Winemakers however the weeks following were a perfect example of why we live and grow grapes in Marlborough the next five weeks (almost through to the end of April) were unremittingly sunny and dry this enabled us to pick grapes in a controlled orderly fashion in beautiful condition.

 

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