Vintage 2020 by Patrick Newton, Mudbrick Winemaker
What a vintage it has been!
Bubbles, social distancing, new equipment and quite possibly the greatest vintage in terms of quality I have experienced.
With Covid-19 an issue on the other side of the world in February, the winery team made up of Gil Pecson, Mike Wood (The Obsidian Winemaker) and myself, prepared the winery for the onslaught of fruit. Floors were cleaned, new barrels were unloaded from France, the press was pulled out of hibernation and most importantly the new crusher and de-stemmer was commissioned ready for use. The Pellenc Selectiv’ Winery S is a state of the art crusher and de-stemmer that gently removes the grapes from the stems through a series of rollers and paddles. Very impressive bit of machinery!
Chardonnay was the first variety to be harvested on the 17th of February followed by the Pinot Gris, Viognier and finally the Albarino on the 12th of March.
Natural fermentations were made easy this year with the excellent condition of fruit.
The concentration of flavours while still retaining acid will be a signature of the 2020 whites.
Currently all the white wines in barrel are being stirred and topped weekly to add texture and complexity.
Malbec was the first of the Mudbrick reds to be harvested on the 14th of March and finished with the Petit Verdot on the 11th of April.
The reds this year have been mind blowing! Fruit was in Perfect condition with concentration not seen on Waiheke since 2013. The Bordeaux varieties (Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot) are black with intense perfume and structure. The Syrah’s are nearing perfection with their intense black fruit and peppery notes and fine powdery tannins.
Currently the reds are undergoing malolactic fermentation in barrel.
I look forward to sharing the finished wines with you!
For more great wine updates, follow Pat on instagram @winemakerpat