We thought that last years harvest started early… But this year we had to start even earlier!
On the 10th of March it was time to pick our Pinot Noir Grapes for the Methode Traditionelle. It is important, that the sugar levels don’t rise too high in the grapes, otherwise the second fermentation in the bottles wouldn’t work properly.
The weather was just beautiful, the grapes wonderfully ripe and we continued with the Pinot Noir for our Rose and after that with the main Pinot Noir for our red wine.
In the mean time the equipment got a nice polish…
and the first red wine fermentation needed a punch down.
Some weeks ago we finally finished our vintage 2015. In short… very low crop levels and great quality. A wonderful vintage with fruity, full-bodied wines.
In general the crop levels all over New Zealand were below average… At Johner Estate unfortunately much much lower. But on the other hand, the fruit we could pick was wonderfully ripe and the fermenting wines are just great.
The Pinots have nice dark fruit flavours with ripe tannins and great structure. A good thing we have still lots of 2013 in stock, so that we can give the 2015 vintage time to mature and evolve.
The Sauvignon Blanc was a big mix between bright green grapes with nice green apple and gooseberry flavours. Other grapes were a little riper with their golden colour slightly turning brown… with lovely rich flavours going into the slightly tropical style flavours.
After the warm and fast ripening weather at the end of march, it finally got a little cooler in April. With the odd rain coming down ripening slowed down for the further varieties. But as the weather got warmer again and some nice warm days came back we had to rush out quickly to pick our noble Pinot Noir, before the berries dried out completely.
A good thing, that Syrah needs a little longer to ripen. So for the red wine we picked only the very best and left the rest for our noble Syrah.
Pinot Gris, Riesling perfect ripe grapes with lovely flavours…
If you’re not addicted to our wines already, you’ll definitely will be with our 2015 vintage.
Johner Estate Pinot Noir Wairarapa/Moonlight 2014
94 points – 5 Stars by Sam Kim
Complex and engaging, this gorgeous pinot is filled with dark berry, game and mixed spice characters with nuances of truffle and dried herbs. The palate delivers fruit concentration and weight, beautifully enhanced by velvety texture and loads of polished tannins. A fabulous combination of fruit richness and savoury complexity. At its best: now to 2020. www.johner-estate.com. Jan 2016.
Johner Estate Pinot Gris 2015
93 points – 5 Stars by Sam Kim
Full barrel fermentation in seasoned oak with further maturation and lees stirring. Wonderfully fruited, this instantly appealing pinot gris shows apricot, green rockmelon, fresh pear and floral notes with a hint of almond on the nose. The palate delivers excellent fruit concentration and purity, backed by fine texture and juicy acidity. Very appealing, very drinkable. At its best: now to 2019. $24.00. www.johner-estate.com. Jan 2016.
Johner Estate Sauvignon Blanc “sur Lie” 2015
91 points – 4.5 Stars by Sam Kim
A beautifully styled sauvignon with elegance and delicate fruit flavours. The gently fragrant bouquet shows grapefruit, lemongrass, feijoa and dill characters, which lead to a finely textured palate that is beautifully weighted and rounded while delivering vibrant acidity. Excellent harmony and integration, this complex style offers varietal purity as well as subtle savoury notes. Partial fermentation in seasoned barrels with lees stirring and ageing. At its best: now to 2019. $24.00. www.johner-estate.com. Jan 2016.
We are thrilled that both Raymond Chan and Bob Campbell gave our 2013 Gladstone and 2013 Reserve Pinot Noir’s FIVE star ratings. Michael Cooper enjoyed the 2014 Riesling and 2014 Pinot Gris and awarded FOUR stars and the 2013 Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc was given FOUR AND A HALF stars.
We know New Zealanders are healthy wine drinkers and we also know they are fiercely protective and proud of our native icon “The Kiwi.” This is why we have joined forces with Pukaha Mount Bruce who do wonderful work in helping to restore our forest and native wildlife.
Pukaha Mount Bruce is a wildlife restoration Centre and visitor attraction located at the National Wildlife Centre off State Highway 2 in New Zealand’s Tararua district.
Over 90 Kiwi are currently living in the forest there and two are viewable in the nocturnal house, during kiwi chick season you can also experience kiwi chicks. As part of Pukaha’s conservation breeding programme, Operation Nest Egg, kiwi eggs are brought in from the forest and hatched in their nursery to give the chicks the best chance of survival.
To support this amazing service order The Johner Estate “Kiwi case” and we will donate $5 per case to Pukaha Mount Bruce to ensure that the Kiwi (and proud feature of our logo) does not become a thing of the past.
This is our selection for you and we are proud of the following reviews.
The Kiwi case consists of four bottles each of the following wines 2014 Pinot Gris Wairarapa
Michael Cooper Mouth filling fresh & vibrant, with strong ripe citrusy, peachy & spicy flavours. Lively acidity and very good poise, vigour and depth. Worth cellaring
2013 Sauvignon Blanc Single Vineyard Gladstone
Michael Cooper Vibrantly fruity and dry with ripe melon / lime flavours, showing excellent intensity, good mouth feel and texture and a zingy lingering finish.
2012 Pinot Noir Single Vineyard Gladstone
The bouquet is gently full with soft aromas of savoury dark red berry fruit, lifted with floral elements along with layers of spicy, nutty and resinous oak, earth, , soft and plush flavours of savoury plum and berry fruits all harmoniously presented.
Normal retail price would be $308.00
Special Kiwi Case price $240.00 a $68.00 SAVING!
Steven Bates (vineyard manager, pictured above) and the team from Johner Estate will be offering a delicious range of tastings (generous as always!) at stand number 542.
We have a superb ‘Special Tasting Experience’ which you won’t want to miss and all sorts of other surprises at the event including customised cases and a super Pinot Noir offer. We will look forward to seeing you there!
Of course if you cannot make it along to the Home Show in Palmerston North, we would love to see you at Johner Estate Vineyard where you will be sure of a fun and informative tasting hour…. or two!
Do contact us if there is any further information you would like regarding the Manawatu Home Show or Johner Estate.
Karl Johner, Steven Bates and the team from Johner Estate will be offering a delicious range of tastings (generous as always!) at stand number 304.
This year, we are proud to have Stefan, a Master of Wine (MW) student to introduce the wines to you.
We have a superb ‘Special Tasting Experience’ which you won’t want to miss and all sorts of other surprises at the event including customized cases and a super Pinot Noir offer. We will look forward to seeing you there!
Of course if you cannot make it along to the Food Show in Wellington, Rosalie would love to see you at Johner Estate Vineyard where you will be sure of a fun and informative tasting hour…. or two!
Do contact us if there is any further information you would like regarding the Wellington Food Show or Johner Estate.
The year has been cooler and more difficult than in other years. The real challenge is getting in ripe grapes with flavours and structure.
The most important aspect is picking out the ripe grapes by hand and then sorting them in the vineyard, before they are dropped into the bucket. As we also pick our late harvest noble grapes at a later stage from the same vineyard, no machine harvester can substitute our hard working pickers. The Sauvignon Blanc grapes couldn’t quite reach our desired ripeness levels of pure tropical fruit flavours. The grapes were too fragile to leave them longer outside, as the Botrytis was starting to spread out. So we just picked the best ones out by hand. These grapes have nice flavours of gooseberry, grapefruit and sometimes peaches. As you can imagine, the crop is smaller, and we will have a shortage of Sauvignon Blanc. We will see if we are able to produce a Sauvignon Blanc Ouvertüre (our Primeur for the German market) … but probably not…
We have also been busy picking Pinot Noir. A part of it has been pressed off as a Blanc de Noir and will be bottled as a Methode Traditionelle.
We are also proud to be able to pick wonderful ripe Reserve Pinot Noir.
During redwine fermentation, where the juice ferments together with the skins, tannins and colour are extracted from the skins. Unfortunately the fermentation gases raise the skins so they float on top, and are not leeched out by the fermenting juice. So intense punch down is needed to mix up the skins with the juice. The total time on skins ranges between 2 and 4 weeks depending on the wine.
The quality from this very cool year is surprisingly good with dark flavours, intense colours and a great structure on the palate.
If you are interested in what it tastes like, please just visit us during harvest and we can give you a sample to taste.
As the harvest ends in about 2 weeks time, the first ferments show results beyond expectation.
On the 30th of March 2012, we started our harvest. The first grapes picked were from St. Martin Vineyards from Martinborough. Perfect ripe Chardonnay grapes at sugar levels of around 12,7 % vol alc. for our Methode Traditionelle. Some very ripe berries even had sugar levels up to 26 Brix.