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The Millton Vineyard
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Chardonnay "Opou Vineyard" 2010

Gisbourne, New Zealand

100% chardonnay

Tasted July 2013- Imagine a gorgeous dish of orchard stone fruits, rested in the sunlit window filling the room with its intense aromas as the afternoon warms. Walking into that room would be the same as pulling the cork here. It is a heady experience, with a glowing yellowed hue and rich glaze on the side of the glass, absolutely loading the nose with quince, apricots & nectarines, even approaching a tropical potency that reads something more than just ripe. There is intensity waiting to burst forward. Something light radiates in the mix though too, with a wiff of lemon oil and spring honey. This is dynamic and open in so many ways. Wondrously, once all those fruits hit the palate there is an immediate stance and structure framing the creamy softness. A bit of spice oak and lively citrus carve up and position the lush fruits around the palate nicely. It reads more classic, i.e. Burgundian, than the ample entry implied. The team felt it had one foot in both the Old and New worlds of wine making. That is certainly evident as it fades off the palate with a long, dry eloquence, hinting at a gingery mineral under the fruits. Overall, this is very alive, very energized and giving, friendly and impressive at the same time. The warmth of the sun that ripened these grapes to such golden perfume shines through clearly. It seems to have the same power to relax as that sunlit window might...Wonderful. James and Annie are lovers of light and feel the wine captures the sunlight like a polished gem. Their description: "Immediately the eye is stimulated by the shining brightness this wine gives off. We call it luminosity. It is yellow and very clear. While the aromas are in the stone fruit spectrum centred around nectarine and apricot there are floral hints of white petals and clover honey. The wine has a clean fresh taste with a hazelnut and oatmeal mouth filling complexity. With a little time in the glass and more contact with air the delicious taste progresses towards a long and rounded feeling in the mouth clipped by sensitive acidity and framed by silken tannins.


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The Label

Producer: The Millton Vineyard
Wine (proprietary name): Chardonnay "Opou Vineyard"
Vintage: 2010
Labeled as: vineyard title
Country of origin: New Zealand
Region: North Island
Area/Appellation: Gisbourne
Classification of Appellation: any indication?
Classification of Wine:
Alcohol %: 13.50

The Winemaking

Winemaker: James Millton
Assistant Winemaker: Annie Millton
First Date of Production: 1984 (2001)
Handling of Fruit: hand picked
Sorted: sorted at picking, sorted at table
Stem: all destemmed
Yield of Harvest:
Method of Crush/Pressing: mechanical press Press Type: pnuematic
Pre-fermantation Soak/Maceration: N
Temperature Controlled: Y
Free Run Juice Only: Y
Gravity Fed to Vessels: Y
Type of Vessel for Fermentation: Wooden Barrel
Type of Wood: French Oak  Wood Condition: 12% New   88% Used   
Size of Vessel: 225
Vessel Seal: Sealed Vessel
Fermentation Temperature Controlled: Y
Fermentation Style: Naturally Occured
Type of Yeasts: Native Yeasts
Carbonic Maceration: N
Length of Fermentation: 10 Day(s)
Pumped Over/Cap Agitation: N
Malolactic Fermentation: Y    Percent: 100.00%
CO2/SO2 Added on Fermentation: SO2
Type of Ageing Vessel: Wooden Barrel
Type of Wood: French Oak  Wood Condition: 12% New   88% Used   
Origin of Barrels (if used): Various French Coopers
Size of Barrels Used: 225
Length of Maturation: 12 Month(s)
Extended Lees Contact: Settled
Fined (Type): N
Filtered (Type): N
Moved to Multiple Vessels?:
Date of Bottling: 2011-09-00
Age in Bottle Before Release: 1 Month(s)
Number of Bottles (750ml) Produced: 0
Number of Magnums Produced: 0
Number of Half Bottles (375ml) Produced: 0
Closure Type: Screwtop
Bottled with SO2: Y
Alcohol %: 13.50
Residual Sugars (Gram/Liter): 3.8
Total Acidity (Gram/Liter): 3.50
Total Ph: 0.00

The Vineyard

Total Vines Planted: 7.73 Hectare
Density of Vines:
Wine Vineyard: Single Vineyard
Source Vineyard: Vineyards Estate Owned
Exposition of Vineyards: N, NE
Soil Type(s): The soil type is complex clay loam over river derived silts giving wines of aroma and texture. The two distinct types are known as: Waihirere heavy silt loam - mottled subsoil phase and Kaiti clay loam
Elevation of Vineyards: 100 ft
Vineyards Description: Hillside, Riverside
Average Age of Vines: 15 year(s)
Farming Methods: Biodynamic
Irrigation: irrigated
Additional Vineyard Information: On the southern side of the Waipaoa River, Opou vineyard was originally planted in 1969 in the times when the New Zealand wine industry started expanding into table wine production, albeit with plantings of French hybrids and other voluminous cross breed bastards. It is now planted with a vast selection of Chardonnay clones and Riesling of famous selections from the Giesenheim Institute in Germany and ENTAV in France.