It is quite rare that a Marlborough winery has a greater following for Pinot Noir than Sauvignon Blanc, but that is the case with Auntsfield. This is the passion of the Cowley’s and it shows with the results. The 2014 season was characterized by naturally low yields and warm settled weather with very little rainfall. Autumn produced cool and settled conditions which were some of the best seen in many years. This ripened small berried Pinot Noir with near perfect small to medium sized bunches. The 2019 season was characterized by warm and very dry weather. Regular winter rainfall and a quiet spring got the vines off to a great start. Summer followed a pattern of warm days and cool nights with lots of sunshine, perfect for vibrant and pure fruit characters. The natural vineyard yields were very low. The team focused on opening canopies and manipulating the leaves to provide an ideal ripening environment.
This wine was made with a minimalist philosophy, designed to enable the characteristics of the grapes and the vineyard to be revealed. The fruit was hand-harvested, hand-sorted, gently destemmed and gravity-fed to tank. Fermented occurred with a combination of ambient and some cultured indigenous yeast strains, careful hand plunging was utilized to gently extract flavors, color and tannins over the course of a week to two. The wine was pressed to French barriques with roughly 20% being new and the remainder between 2-6-years-old. The wine aged gracefully for 10 months before the blend was made and the wine settled in tanks. It was bottled without fining or filtration and just a small sulfur addition.