"Vintage 2024, Wow!"

 

Rapaura Springs Winemaker, Mike Bann's Vintage 2024 Report.

In the Vineyards:

The spring season of vintage 2024 started a little cooler than most years and included a significant frost event that affected several subregions. The cooler start caused a slower growth in the lead-up to flowering.

Weather over flower was also cooler than normal and drawn out over several weeks. The effect of the longer flowering period caused poor fruit set across most varieties which meant a lot less fruit on the vine. After flowering, the weather returned to Marlborough’s trademark sunshine. The summer was consistently hot and windy. The dry conditions ensured healthy canopy growth throughout the season. The smaller crop, coupled with healthy canopies and consistent hot/dry conditions meant that fruit development progressed rapidly. This rapid fruit development saw harvest start more than seven days earlier than normal. The near-perfect conditions ensured perfect ripening across all varieties. Cooler evening conditions as we approached  harvest ensured that acidity and freshness in the grapes was retained.

In the Winery:

Vintage 2024, wow! Light crops but some exceptional quality. Near perfect ripening conditions lead to fruit ripening in almost optimum condition. The days were warm, even hot, but the nighttime conditions were almost autumn like, creating some wines of true provenance. Crops were light, creating early ripening conditions, with the fruit being all but in by the middle of April.

The picking crews worked hard, hand harvesting selected blocks and varieties, and the machine harvesters ticked away harvesting when fruit was at its peak. The winery wasn’t overrun, due to the smaller harvest size.

We filled presses, collected juice and after clarifying yeast was selected by the winemaker to best suit the fruit on offer. The ferments ticked away, being controlled, and kept in good stead by the winemaking team. The winery was full of mixed aromas that reminded us of Christmas platters full of tropical fruits and a spread of berries.

As I write this, almost all ferments are finished. The 2024 vintage period is officially done, the wines are settling and it is now time for blending to begin!

What to expect:

Vintage 2024 wines are powerful.

Sauvignon Blanc shows the full flavour spectrum with some big, full ripe flavoursome wines. With the traditional tropical punch and underlying Marlborough freshness we like to see.

Pinot Gris is full of ripe stone fruits, and glorious palate weight. These wines are flavoursome and packing a punch.

Chardonnay is packed full of white and yellow stone fruits, also showing a lovely ripe citrus note. Aging in oak at the moment, this is surely one to look forward too.

Pinot Noir wines this year are very masculine. Big and juicy ripe berry and cassis like characters, they will need some time to come together, but were expecting good things.

Categories: Sauvignon Vintage Wine

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