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Spencer Hill The Wild One Chardonnay 2019

The winemaker's production notes tell us "this wine is made from 2/23 clone Chardonnay off 30 year old vines in the Upper Moutere. Wild yeast culture was formed using Indigenous yeasts from the vineyard and the ferment initiated once a good population of healthy viable yeast cells established. Plenty of solids racked over and a small amount of time on French Oak with 9 months on lees have all contributed to the complexity of this wine. The onset of Natural Malolactic fermentation occurred as the ambient temps in the winery began to climb in Spring with about 50% malic degradation. The result is a complex wine with layers of flavour that are dominated by sulfide characters in the front palate. Sulfites are naturally occurring compounds found in all wines that inhibit microbial growth. Most winemakers add sulfites to help prevent spoilage, though some wines are made without additional sulfites. Building sulfide characters in wines can be a dangerous game to play and requires a skilled hand to ensure those sulfide components add character and interest without becoming unpleasant to drink. The key difficulty in this approach is that as individuals we all have different sensitivity levels to sulfides. For me I am very sensitive while others may not even notice them in a wine until the PPM (parts per million) increase significantly. This wine treads a fine line, if you are very sensitive to sulfide characters you may not enjoy the wine as much as someone who isn't. For me the flavours are complex and rich, the sulfides add to the texture of the wine while the sulfide funk doesn't overpower the creamy yellow peach flavours and the crisp citrus acidity in the very long finish. As the winemaker says this "is a wine that has plenty of style and individuality."
  • Bottling Date: 02/06/2020
  • Alcohol: 13.6%
  • pH: 3.2  Acid: 5.9gr./l
  • Residual Sugar: 0.4gr./l
  • Bottled under Diam cork closure.



Nelson, Upper Moutere

Spencer Hill

Neil Hodgson

Sparkling pale gold with bright lemon tones

The aromas are rich stonefruit overlaid with firm sulfide smoky flint and subtle spice. The funky sulfide aromas hint at the complexity of the wine.

Date tasted
19 Sep 2020


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