Spade Oak 2013 Petit Manseng and Late Harvest Viognier
Steve and Eileen Voysey of Spade Oak are at the forefront of the Gisborne vignoble comeback. Three decades ago, the region was this country’s largest winegrowing region, but the rise of Sauvignon Blanc has seen Gisborne relegated to fourth place behind Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay and Central Otago in acreage. Now we are seeing Gisborne as the home of the small artisanal producer leading in trialling innovative varieties. Viognier, Gruner Veltliner and Albarino, have all become far more prominent, with the likes of Petit Manseng emerging, especially through the work of Gisborne growers and winemakers.
In January this year, I spent some time with the Voyseys at Spade Oak and tasted a number of tank and barrel samples of wine from the superb 2013 vintage, including Petit Manseng and a sweet Viognier. (Click here to read my report.) Their Petit Manseng is a variety from the Jurancon, different to Gros Manseng which is also planted in the region. Steve Voysey reports it is "unique, never seeing another variety like it”. The Voyseys have one row of 188 vines covering 0.1 ha, but planted another two rows this year. 2013 was the third crop, the small-berried bunches looking like molecular structures in chemistry, attaining high brix without botrytis or dehydration while retaining high acidity and low pH.
For 2013, their intention was to make a Noble Viognier in the style of the outstanding 2009 (click here to see my review). However, the season, while ample in sunshine experienced no rain, so a late harvest style was made. The wine was made from 6 rows of fruit, totalling 0.4 ha, left to hang on the vine. Here, I review the Petit Manseng and Late Harvest Viognier, made as sweet wines, both bottled in 375 ml format. www.spadeoak.co.nz
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Spade Oak ‘Vigneron’ Gisborne Petit Manseng 2013Other White from New Zealand - GisbornReview Date : 05-Jun-2014Bright straw-yellow colour with light golden hues, showing some depth, paler on edge. The nose is softly deep and showing real presence, though the aromas of white stonefruits and white florals are restrained. With aeration, nuances of apples, herbs and nuts emerge, and the aromatics are presented with pristine clarity and steeliness. Medium-sweet to taste and medium-bodied, the flavours of white fruits and florals are tightly bound and detailed by nutty reductive elements with fresh herb and honeysuckle facets. The sweetness adds to the fruit weight and fulsome mouthfeel, and is balanced by crisp, racy and steely acidity that carries the palate to a long lusciously slippery finish. This medium-sweet Petit Manseng has fruit clarity and weight, and is beautifully poised between raciness and lusciousness. Serve as an aperitif, with Asian cuisine and white meat dishes over the next 5-6 years. Made from 390 kg of fruit. Hand-picked and fermented in stainless-steel barrel to 12.8% alc. and 52 g/L RS, TA 9.17 g/L and pH 2.99. 235 L, 50 dozen made. (375 ml) 18.0+/20 Jun 2014 RRP $34.95 Disclaimer: This wine is distributed by ‘Wine2Trade’, the company under which ‘Raymond Chan Wine Reviews’ operates
Spade Oak ‘Vigneron’ Gisborne Late Harvest Viognier 2013Sweet Wine from New Zealand - GisbornReview Date : 05-Jun-2014Full, deep, orange-hued golden colour, lighter on rim. This has a full and broad and opulent nose of well-ripened apricots entwined with savoury tropical fruits, the aromatics complexed by wild honey, crystallised fruits, nuts and caramel. Very sweet, luscious and decadent on palate, the mouthfeel is soft, filling and unctuous, with waves of flavour unfolding, to show ripe apricots, honey, savoury raisined fruit, nuts, toffee and caramel. The palate is broad, open and rounded, the low acidity adding to the density and viscous textures. The wine carries through to a weighty, long and unctuous finish. This is a full, lush and unctuous Late Harvest Viognier packed with burnished apricot and caramel flavours. Serve with crème brulee, steamed puddings and blue cheeses over the next 4-5 years. 1.14 tonnes of fruit picked, crushed and given 4 hours skin contact, fully barrel-fermented to 13.3% alc. and 172 g/L RS, TA 8.19 and pH 3.86, the wine aged 7 months in seasoned oak. 660 L, 146 dozen made. (375 ml) 18.0/20 Jun 2014 RRP $34.95 Disclaimer: This wine is distributed by ‘Wine2Trade’, the company under which ‘Raymond Chan Wine Reviews’ operates