The 2007 Te Koko is an intriguing and alternative style of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Aromas of lemon thyme, mandarin blossom and stonefruit combine harmoniously with ginger spice and nutty and savoury tones, underlined by exotic tropical notes. The many-layered palate is creamy and textured, balanced by a clean, mineral acidity. This wine has excellent persistence of flavour and intensity.
The Sauvignon Blanc grapes for this wine were sourced from four blocks spread across the Brancott Valley, Rapaura and Renwick sub-regions. The soils are predominantly free draining gravels requiring irrigation during the growing season. The majority of fruit was grown on a vertically shoot positioned (VSP) trellis with the balance on the divided Scott-Henry trellis system. In 2007 Sauvignon Blanc yields averaged 9.5 Tonnes/hectare (3.8 Tonnes/acre).
The Growing Season:
Budburst in Marlborough was once again earlier than normal and the growing season in the Wairau Valley raced off to a frost-free start. However, early predictions of a bumper crop were quashed during the coldest December in 50 years, affecting the later flowering varieties, especially Sauvignon Blanc. Cooler than average weather conditions prevailed through most of the summer, bringing the season back from its early start and putting a worried look on many a winemaker’s face. But the beginning of autumn brought the arrival of a true ‘Indian Summer’ and the vineyards ripened rapidly under sunny, blue skies.
Batches of fruit from five vineyards were picked according to flavour profile between March 2 and March 17, averaging 22.7-23.4 Brix, pH of 3.23-3.33 and titratable acidity of 8.0-9.5 g/L.
The grapes were harvested in the cool of night to preserve fruit flavour and loaded into tank presses. After settling the juice for a period of two to three days, the juice was racked directly to French oak barrel (less than 10% of which were new) and allowed to undergo a slow wild or “natural” fermentation. The primary fermentation, which took until November to complete in some batches, was followed by a spontaneous malolactic fermentation. The wine was left in barrel on yeast lees until September 15 2008, when it was racked and lightly fined for clarity. The wine was bottled in February 2009. Final analysis shows the wine to have a pH of 3.40, 5.6 g/L titratable acidity and 13.6% v/v alc.
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