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!
Well it’s all go at Johner Estate for the next few weeks with all hands on deck to harvest the grapes in what may be one of the very best seasons ever! We have a stunning crop with all varieties of grape in superb condition and sugar levels optimum. The team are working dawn til dusk and while most are actually picking we have a dedicated team in the winery focusing solely on processing the grapes and beginning the all important wine making alchemy. Thirteen may be an unlucky number for some but I for one am looking forward to my first sip of the 2013 vintage!
Another absolutely fabulous Wairarapa Harvest Festival was held on Saturday in the beautiful riverside location known locally as ‘The Cliffs’, just down the road from Johner Estate. It was a hugely successful day with brilliant music, superb food and delicious wine and the crowd had a wonderful day! Thank you to all the visitors to the Johner stand, we always look forward to seeing you and helping ensure everyone has a great time. Can’t wait ’til next time for the best wine festival around!
It’s a classic Wairarapa Summer with long sunny days and temperatures soaring in to the mid thirties by early afternoon, followed by refreshingly cool nights. These are perfect conditions for our grapes which are fully formed and ripening. However we are not the only ones watching the crop carefully! The sparrow, finch and starling are all greedily eyeing up the juicy grapes which are just now developing some early sweetness and so the priority this fortnight at Johner Estate is netting. The team are working hard at what is an exhausting but essential job and looking forward to some quieter time after the netting is complete.
Remember the tasting room is open seven days a week, 10am – 4.30pm and we welcome visitors. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Over early November the team at Johner Estate are busy tidying the fresh new growth on all the vines on the Estate. This detailed job involves not only considering this years growth and fruiting but also keeping a thought for the design of next years growth and appropriate pruning come winter. We need as many superfluous shoots removed as possible whilst leaving good buds for this season’s fruit and a sturdy strong sprout, in exactly the right place to provide next seasons leading cane. One of our new girls, Johanna, (pictured above), tackles all this with a smile! Meanwhile in the tasting room we will shortly be showcasing our new vintage Pinot Noir Moonlight 2010 and Pinot Noir Gladstone 2010. Both will be available in the next couple of weeks so do take the time to pop in to Johner Estate and try these new wines yourselves. And with the party season approaching do get in touch – we love to help with parties… weddings…. and Christmas celebrations!
At Johner Estate we are proud of our Herbicide Free status as we know, in this day and age, it is always preferable to reduce or eliminate harsh chemical usage in any situation, especially large scale usage on farm, orchards and vineyards. This is another example of our hands on approach to vineyard management allowing us closer monitoring of the vines whilst manually dealing with weeds. Yes manually! Above is a photo of Sandra grubbing out weeds amongst the young pinot noir vines with a specially designed and rather scary looking hoe. Of course the whole vineyard is far too large to always weed by hand and the older vine rows are treated to tractor powered under vine weeding, rotary harrowing and cultivating. This approach has the combined benefit of dealing with the weeds, crushing them and ripping them out whilst also reducing the root run of the vines. Next time you visit Johner Estate I would recommend taking a closer look at the vineyard itself and please do ask questions of the tasting room staff as they will be happy to help.