Prophet’s Rock Pinot Gris 2021
Highlighted by many as one of if not the best true Alsatian style Gris from New Zealand. Paul emphasises often that there are ‘No second-class citizens in the vineyard”. His point here is that often white varietals are cropped twice as high as Pinot Noir in New Zealand, whereas his Riesling, Gris and Chardonnay are given equal respect in terms of yields, a key part Paul believes to showing the site in these whites. Sourced from one parcel in the Rocky Point vineyard (Paul has a spot in this vineyard with a higher % of Clay, good for this varietal) and one vineyard on the west bank of the lake in Pisa.A key point that Paul has mentioned in our conversations around his dry whites is the importance of elevage on lees. This was an important lesson he learnt whilst in Alsace, where the ‘greats’ almost always leave the wines post ferment on lees for extended periods, where so often in the new world for Riesling and Gris the wines are moved to tank/bottle in just a few months post primary ferment. Paul’s white’s are bottled just before the following vintage.
Yields = 35 hct per hectare. Hand Picked – Very similar wine making to the Dry Riesling. Whole bunch pressed – slow over 6 hours. Settled overnight in tank, then transferred to barrel. Takes as much fine/fluffy lees as he can. Wild Ferment in seasoned old barrel (80%). – Plan to be 100% so it’s just a small part in tank. Slow ferment, 3 to 4 months due to temperatures. Ferment finishes, Paul doesn’t take off any lees for the entire elevage.
Bottled before the start of the next harvest – 11 months approx. Left 8 to 12 grams of residual sugar (Paul reminds me wild ferment rarely goes to dryness). No Malo. Filtered due to sugar.
“An off-dry style with powerful acidity packing in sweet ripe pears and apples. Fresh aromas and gentle pastry notes, too. This has it all. Drink now”- JamesSuckling.com
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