Target Riesling 2011
Floral and ripe citrus notes compete in the aroma of this Riesling. Citrus characters introduce this wine to the palate and are then joined by ripe tropical melon and a hint of stonefruit. A moderate amount of residual sugar (39gL-1) has been retained to balance the slightly lower acidity from a warmer season. This residual sugar has also fleshed out the mid palate of the wine. This wine will richly reward those who can cellar it.
Mt Difficulty Target Riesling will improve for 6 - 9 years given optimal cellaring conditions.
Proper care at all times in the vineyard and winery was the making of vintage 2011. Conditions were difficult but the quality of fruit was very good, provided the right decisions were made. Spring was fantastically settled, which led to excellent flowering and fruit set.
Usual spring conditions actually arrived late, and unsettled weather was the norm right through January and February! Despite this, it was also pretty warm; it was almost too perfect for canopy and bunch development leading to bigger than normal berries, and higher bunch weights as a result. Finally some semblance of normality arrived in March with conditions settling. These conditions continued through autumn, other than one wet spell which highlighted how tender and thin-skinned the berries were this season. In the winery it was a season where the fruit needed empathy, and the direction of the wine was dictated by the fruit.
The grapes for the wines that carry the Mt Difficulty Estate label are subject to two strict criteria: they are managed under the umbrella of the Mt Difficulty viticultural team and must be sourced from vineyards situated in a very specific area - the South side of the Kawarau River at Bannockburn. Mt Difficulty has Riesling planted at Target Gully and Long Gully. Historically Target Riesling was a Single Vineyard wine but its medium style, having evolved in recent years, is best served by blending from both vineyards dependent on vintage conditions. Long Gully consists of Lochar soils which are formed in older fans. They have very weakly developed, thin and wavy clay pans which are deep enough to cause no impediment to roots or drainage. These are well-drained, high pH soils ideally suited to viticulture. They generally have a 30cm depth of top soil over fine to moderately coarse gravels. Target Gully is similar to Long Gully in that it is comprised of Lochar soils but it does also have some Bannockburn soils. The latter are soils of the Bannockburn series, formed from sluicing operations during early gold mining activities. Bannockburn soils are drought-prone due to the coarseness of the base material.
Target Riesling is a style crafted to balance residual sugar in perfect harmony with the wine’s natural acidity. The fruit benefited from the warm summer and autumn of 2010, arriving in perfect condition at the winery. The fruit was hand harvested on the 12rd and 13th of April for Long Gully and the 18th April for Target Gully and carefully processed through the winery – the juice was cold settled for 12 days prior to racking for fermentation to help enhance palate weight further. The wine was fermented cool in stainless steel to retain maximum varietal expression. The fermentation was stopped by chilling to balance the natural acidity with residual sugar.
|Alc. 11.5%||T/A 8.4 gL-1||pH 3||Residual Sugar 39 gL-1|