Millton Te Arai Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2011



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Winery/Brand: Millton Wines


With aromas of fresh lime zest and fragrant gardenias, this wine is taut and vibrant in a way that will show its’ maturity over a very long period of time. Flavours of fine wool and bush honey are enhanced by cumquat and ripe bouche pear aromas with a tingling aftertaste.



The Story

The Millton Vineyard has gained a world-renowned reputation for this unique and classic grape variety. Consistently recognised by international writers as one the best examples in the world, outside of the Loire. The Te Arai vineyard Chenin is included in the book '1001 Wines you must try before you die'. Published by Penguin 2008.

The Te Arai vineyard is five kilometres from the sea. Te Arai roughly translates to “the place where you pause before going on towards the land of eternal sunshine.” Quite appropriate for this wine, I thought. This maritime proximity underlies the wine’s unique South Pacific style. The silt soils give fragrance while the occasional incidence of botrytis, generated by the autumnal mists from the Te Arai stream, give complex texture, body and a sense of sweetness to the wine. In the Loire Valley of France, Chenin Blanc produces powerful wines of a similar character, which we refer to as our touchstone.

Notes from the Winemaker: Over the years our determination to produce one of the world’s best wines from this variety is a seasonal challenge and a bottled fantasy. Up to four selections are made in the vineyard when we hand harvest the grapes. On the crush pad the stems are discarded as these grapes give up their juice very easily during the short pressing cycle. The juice is collected together and allowed to settle for only a short time as we want to keep the fine sediments, for it is here that all the nutrients lie which satisfy a well behaved fermentation. The fermentation and maturation take place in demi-muids (large 600 litre oak barrels) and stainless steel tanks. The wine matures in these vessels over time, and without the obtrusion of oak tannins, which would otherwise disrespect the subtle fruit aromas.

Final clarity has been added with the use of organic trim milk. I’ve never seen a trace remaining. Serve about 12ºC and allow to breathe for as long as you think best. Ageing potential is at least 10 years from date of release.

Wine from Certified Organic and Biodynamic Grapes. Estate Bottled.

Total acidity: 8.5g/l. pH: 3.30
Alcohol: 11.5% Vol. Residual Sugar: 14 g/l
Harvest dates: 17th March – 8th April 2011
Bottled on: 19th December 2012
Released on: 1st Febuary 2013

"Brilliant light golden-hued straw-yellow colour with some depth, lighter on rim. The bouquet is full and solid with bright, lifted and lively aromas of yellow florals, tropical fruits and honey, unfolding savoury minerals, citrus fruits and pineapple nuances. Off-dry to taste, rich and lush flavours of stonefruits and exotic florals unfold from a moderately dense core, revealing honey, savoury detail and nutty interest. The mouthfeel is smooth and rounded with very fine textured flow and slippery, lacy acidity that carries through to a well-concentrated finish of florals, honey and minerals. This is a rich and smooth off-dry Chenin Blanc with exotic fruit flavours. Serve with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fare over the next 5-6 years. Hand-picked fruit from four selections, fermented in 600 L demi-muids and stainless-steel to 11.5% alc. and 14.0 g/L rs. Certified BioGro organic and biodynamic. 18.0/20 Feb 2013 RRP $28.00" 18/20 - Raymond Chan, highly respected NZ wine advisor, Feb 2013

The Specs

RegionGisborne, New Zealand
GrapesChenin Blanc
PackagingGlass Bottle