Sunday, March 30, 2008

March 30, 2008. Small New Zealand Wineries Part 5. Himmelsfeld Vineyard

In this final part of this series, I would like to introduce readers to an extremely small winery which pays serious attention to their vines. Himmelsfeld vineyard began in 1991 when owner Elizabeth(Beth) Eggars decided to try something else besides nursing. Nestled on a gentle hill in Upper Moutere, the 10.5ha property has about 1.5ha dedicated to growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc (roughly equal split). The rest of the land is still home to an apple orchard and many sheep!

Total production for all wines is roughly about 600+ cases so odds are you will not see this too often overseas. In fact, don't think we saw it in shops while in New Zealand either.

Of the many wineries visited - Beth struck me as one who puts emphasis on the Vineyard first and wine making second. She is adamant that "great wines are made in the vineyard", something which I hear echoed in the most zealous ( and coincidentally top notch) Burgundy producers. Her vineyard is the first one I have seen in New Zealand which does not "irrigate" - yes you heard it right - no irrigation. It was deemed that a deeper vine root system was preferable over "immediate results" and irrigation did not encourage this.




2002 Himmelsfeld Moutere Chardonnay

Hints of citrus fruits and what is the beginning of some secondary aromas coming from the oak. Defintely French oak and probably not new oak either. Not as tight in terms of acidity which I suspect means it should be consumed within 3-5 years. 90 points.

2002 Himmelsfeld Moutere Cabernet
Already achieving some secondary aromas, black and red fruits, not an inky black monster by any measures & soft smooth tannins. The core of the mid palate however shows some lightness in density indicating perhaps rain - grape bloat? Other than that a very nice wine but do not expect this to get much better and should be consumed within 3 perhaps 5 years. 90 points.

2003 Himmelsfeld Mouter Noble Chardonnay
Of the wines offered for tasting this is probably the got me excited the most. I am thinking this is comparable to top level Alsace SGN's but it also has that acidity which lifts the whole thing up. Defintely something I would be very curious to try again in 10-15 years - think this will be a knockout. 96+ points

1 comment:

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