Current Release

We are pleased to be able to show you our new wines. Our Bell Hill wines benefit from bottle ageing and therefore we release them around three and a half years after the harvest vintage. Time since then has proven their longevity.

 

 

2014 VINTAGE

The 2014 vintage season started with some spring frosts followed by a good, warm growing season during the summer months and a wetter than usual March and April. We made a start with harvest on the 6th of April with the Roadblock Chardonnay, then the Limeworks 2009 Chardonnay and Quarry Rootlings Pinot Noir on the 7th. Light but frequent rainfall followed so we managed ourselves around the picking with a very large crew of 19 and continued with the Westbank Pinot Noir on the 10th, the Shelf Pinot Noir on the 11th and 12th, the Quarry 10/5 Pinot Noir on the 12th and 13th, the Limeworks 1999 Chardonnay on the 14th and, finally, a very small pick from the Slope and Roadblock Pinot Noir on the 15th.

Our winemaking philosophy is simple, the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir blocks are multi-cloned and are harvested, fermented, and put to barrel separately as individual blocks. The allows us to follow the evolution of the wine for a year before making our blending decisions and gives opportunities to evaluate for single block potential. The yeasts are natural, coming from the vineyard, we make small natural starters from each parcel after the fruit has been processed into its fermenting vat or pressed into tank. Malolactic fermentation is 100%, also natural. We don’t use fining or clarification agents and filtration is minimal – a coarse filtering for Chardonnay, the same for Pinot Noir from the racking valve down, or not at all. For Chardonnay, our first addition of sulphur is at 12 months when the wine comes out of barrel and into tank. Pinot Noir sees an addition of sulphur to protect the fruit during its cold maceration time and acid adjustments in the fermenter to stabilise pH for long term stability, colour and ageing. The wine is then left alone and sulphured in tank after barrel ageing for 12 months. Small sulphur adjustments are made, if necessary, before bottling.

BELL HILL
PINOT NOIR 2014

The Bell Hill Pinot Noir is a barrel selection from the Shelf, Quarry (10/5 & Rootlings), and Westbank. All blocks were 100% destemmed giving a high number of whole berries. The ferments had 22-28 days on skins with cold pre-ferment and warm post-ferment macerations. After basket pressing, the wine was put into 100% new French oak, then racked and blended after 12 months in barrel. It had 5 months in tank and was bottled on the 25th of November 2015 with a pH of 3.61, TA of 5.2 g/L, and alcohol of 12.5%. 2,881 bottles were produced.
Iron, blood orange, and mineral intensity with sweet scented blue fruit and earthy complexity alongside hints of sage and thyme. Long and tight textural chalky acid and tannin frame suggesting rich layers that will unfold in time. A sense of power, slightly brooding, with a reserved mineral core, the trademark Bell Hill thread, and a current of energy that offers freshness and salivating power of fruit. NZ$120


 

BELL HILL
CHARDONNAY 2014

The Bell Hill Chardonnay is a select barrel blend from the Shelf, Limeworks (2009 & 1999 blocks), and Roadblock. The fruit was whole cluster pressed in our tank press followed by 12 months in French oak (16% new) and 7 months in tank. The wine was bottled on the 25th of November 2015 with a pH of 3.35, TA of 5.9 g/L, and alcohol of 13%. 1,643 bottles were produced.
Lifted intensity, mineral and chalky, hints of talcum, demanding attention on the nose with layers of wet stone, sea breeze and marine notes followed by lemon zest and white florals. Tight with mineral driven intensity, intensely saline and salivating, a tightly coiled spring, luminous but with restrained power, tactile and coating in its texture, very long, giving a sense of its shape and flow but not revealing all just yet, lovely grapefruit mineral finish. NZ$120


OLD WEKA PASS ROAD
PINOT NOIR 2014

The Old Weka Pass Road Pinot Noir is a blend from select barrels of the Westbank, Quarry 10/5 and Roadblock/Slope. The handling on skins is the same as for the Bell Hill and the French oak was also 100% new. The wine was racked and blended after 15 months in barrel, it had 1 month in tank and was bottled on the 25th of November 2015 with a pH of 3.64, TA of 5.0 g/L, and alcohol of 12.5%. 922 bottles were produced.
Vibrant, earthy and mineral with floral notes, lifted with barnyard exotics, perfumed with spice and brambles, inviting and intriguing. Soft berry fruit entry with lingering anise and liquorice notes. Elegant and flowing with salty, mineral detail, evolving on the palate with seamless textures of mineral energy, subtle spiciness and fruit intensity. NZ$65


 

OLD WEKA PASS ROAD
CHARDONNAY 2014

The Old Weka Pass Road Chardonnay is a select barrel blend from the Limeworks 2009 block across two picking dates. The fruit was whole cluster pressed in our tank press followed by 12 months in older French oak and 7 months in tank. The wine was bottled on the 25th of November 2015 with a pH of 3.35, TA of 5.5 g/L, and alcohol of 13%. 702 bottles were produced.
Elegant floral notes with hints of blossom, white flower, wet sand and pollen. Lively palate with soft mineral flow, elegant and saline, lifted and poised, a creamy leesy complexity that envelopes the mouth. Focused with good tension and a lingering finish. Pristine and clear, somewhat ethereal in its movement and flow. NZ$65