Blank Canvas ‘Meta’ Riesling 2018

TASTING NOTE We chose the name ‘Meta’ for our botrytised, late harvested Riesling, as it embodies the remarkable change of condition the grapes undergo as they are transformed by noble rot over the final weeks of Autumn. From healthy fruit into shrivelled but concentrated, intensely sweet berries; once harvested these have the potential to yield the most hedonistic, nectarous wine one can imagine. Aromas of citrus zest, orange blossom honey and marmalade are poised against a luscious and pronounced sweetness on the palate which persists thanks to a backbone of enlivening acidity.

VINTAGE A hot summer accelerated ripening across all varieties, but the relatively wet late summer conditions provided an ideal environment for the onset of noble rot. The botrytis infection was rapid throughout the region and was in a form called ‘slip-skin’. This resulted in a very even infection across the vineyard with very little sporulation or grey rot. We were able to obtain excellent concentration and the entire parcel was nearly 100% infected with botrytis.

VITICULTUREFrom a single vineyard in the Rapaura sub-region of the Wairau Valley, this small block of Riesling is run meticulously by the Couper family. Cane-pruned and VSP trained, the vineyard was brilliantly situated to deliver perfect noble rot conditions. We carefully hand-picked it at the very end of vintage on the 30th April 2018.

WINEMAKING   The grapes were selectively hand-harvested in the vineyard and the fruit was gently whole-bunch pressed with the juice returned to the skins for an overnight maceration to soak up further flavour, sugars and acidity. Upon presseing again the juice was settled naturally and fermented with selected yeast strains in a small stainless steel tank. With minimal intervention throughout, the wine naturally ceased fermentation at ~9.5% alcohol. The wine was racked to French oak puncheons where it spent 6 months on light lees, followed by gentle filtration before being bottled on 28th November 2018.

TECHNICAL ANALYSES

Alcohol content 9.5% pH 3.4
Residual Sugar 168 g/L Acidity 9.8 g/L

 


ENDORSEMENTS

93 Points / 4.5 Stars “Meta’ means transformation, in this case by botrytis influence. It’s a rich and flavoursome wine with peach, honey, grapefruit marmalade and musk flavours. Initial sweetness contrasts with subtle steely acidity on the lengthy finish.” Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review. 5/2/2019

DOWNLOAD TASTING NOTE (PDF) 2018