Auntsfield Estate produces Chardonnay with finesse, restraint, honed focus and a textured mineral structure. The distinctive characteristics of ripeness, texture and minerality – qualities unique to the ancient Greywacke rock and Loess clay soils found on the property – are certainly apparent. Only the best fruit is hand-picked and hand-sorted into small picking bins where fermentation naturally starts in the vineyard. As for the vintage, “Quality but not quantity is the theme throughout New Zealand wine regions in 2021,” writes Jancis Robinson. Demand far exceeded supply in an unprecedented way, due mainly to frost and poor fruit set conditions. However, what remained was small but mighty.
The fruit for this wine was hand harvested and whole bunch pressed, allowing clean and intensely flavored juice to be pressed from the grape. The juice was fermented in French oak barriques with indigenous yeast, followed by extended barrel aging on yeast lees. The lees were stirred up in cask for the first few weeks and then the wine was left to age quietly for 11 months in total. The barrels were gently racked to tank and bottled with a light fining, filtration, and hit of sulfur.