On Saturday night at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards dinner I had the privilege of collecting both the trophy for best sparkling wine and the Champion Wine of Show for our Nautilus Cuvee Marlborough Brut NV. Collecting the Best sparking trophy was exciting enough but to get the Champion Wine of the show took it to a whole new level – that was definitely a ‘bucket list’ moment.
It was also particularly satisfying to collect this award for our Nautilus Cuvee. We have been making this wine for over 20 years now and it is very close to our hearts. This is the wine we always open to share with our guests, friends and colleagues and it is one of our favourite wines in our small portfolio. We have had tremendous success with this wine in the last 3 years – winning trophies in both NZ & Australia but a trophy at the Air New Zealand wine awards had always eluded us – until now.
The style of Nautilus Cuvee Marlborough Brut NV has always been a Pinot Noir dominant blend with the balance being Chardonnay. It is aged for a minimum of 3 years on yeast lees before disgorging with a low dosage – resulting in a serious, rich but elegant dry style of sparkling wine. The grapes come from specific blocks on 3 vineyards in the Rapaura sub-region. They are all hand harvested & chilled before being whole bunch pressed. Making serious sparkling wine requires patience and commitment as it is a significant investment in time & money. We are very lucky our proprietor has always supported us in making this wine style.
So if you get the opportunity grab a bottle of Nautilus Cuvee & try it for yourself – the perfect wine to celebrate Xmas or to bring in the New Year.