The Nautilus Winemakers Selection Sauvignon Blanc, like the Four Barriques Pinot Noir, is a wine we have made occasionally when we think the vintage quality warrants it. Previously allocated to the UK market, this wine is for the first time being released here in NZ.
The style of this Sauvignon Blanc has always been at the technical forefront of what we are trying to achieve in the winery with this variety and has evolved considerably over the years. Early examples such as the 2004 & 2007 were driven by aromatics as we explored a thiol-driven wine style, while more recently the wine has been more influenced by oak – initially with some barrel fermentation and then through the use of larger format oak vessels – our 3,000 L Cuves. However this oak influence remains subtle as only a portion of the blend is fermented this way. From a viticultural point of view we have taken a ‘best of vintage’ approach where we seek out a special parcel of wine that represents that particular vintage. Over the years this parcel has come from a number of vineyards – both grower and estate owned.
The 2012 vintage Winemakers Selection Sauvignon Blanc was sourced from a section of our own Kaituna vineyard. The juice was split between tank and cuve, and both fermentations were started with a non-saccharomyces yeast before being inoculated with a traditional wine yeast about five days later. We have been trialling this technique for a number of years and like the results we get. We are seeking the textural effect that the non – saccharomyces yeast gives while not wanting to go the fully wild route such as Cloudy Bay Te Koko or Seresin Marama where the aromatic profile is changed quite dramatically. The fermentation in the cuve was run at a warmer temperature which again adds to the texture of the wine. The final blend was selected as 60% from the Cuve and 40% from the tank which we felt give the best balance between fruit driven aromatics and the oak derived complexity. This blend was aged for a further 3 months on yeast lees before bottling.
This wine style is really Sauvignon Blanc with a ‘twist’ and has what we believe is a nice balance of traditional aromatics and added layer of complexity. In summary it is a single vineyard, estate grown fruit, best of vintage wine with layers of oak and winemaking street cred.
We hope you enjoy this wine!