Located on the warm easterly plateau of the Maraekakaho, the fruit from the Waikahu site is grown on the sandy loam over red stained gravels. The area consists of some of New Zealand’s oldest soils dating back thousands of years. The Matthews Family, who are the attentive vignerons of this prestigious vineyard ensure the fruit is of an exceptional quality. This vineyard is planted with a selection of Chardonnay clones, namely clone 95, 15 and Mendoza. Each clone displays unique growing and physiological attributes, which ultimately influences the type of fruit flavour developed. Harvested on different dates the various clones provide the winemaker with a complex array of blending options.
Following harvesting the grapes were whole bunch pressed. The free run juice went straight to a mix of 55% new, and the rest to older French Oak barriques for fermentation. Specific parcels of wine (30%) were allowed to ferment naturally while others were inoculated with selected yeast strains. The wines rested in oak and partly underwent malolactic fermentation (70%). The wines then rested for 10 extra months for maturation before they were fined out minimally, filtrated and bottled.
The 2008 Reserve Hawkes Bay displays pure and delicate aromas of white peach, flowers, flint and meal, which harmonise with an equally appealing palate. Creamy, cashew and tight-grained oak notes meld with polished fruit to form a seamless combination of understated power and length.