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.

 

 

2013 VINTAGE

The 2013 vintage season was generous with warmth and sunshine, good spring temperatures set us up for good fruit set and gave an even, balanced crop with healthy fruit. Harvest commenced on the 8th of April with the Shelf 1998 Pinot Noir, followed by the Shelf and Limeworks 2009 Chardonnay on the 11th and the Roadblock Chardonnay on the 12th. Back to Pinot Noir with the Shelf 2006-2008 plantings and the Westbank coming in on the 14th, the Quarry Rootlings on the 15th and the Slope on the 18th along with the last block of Chardonnay, the Limeworks 1999. The Roadblock Pinot Noir came in on the 19th and, lastly, the Quarry 10/5 clone on the 24th of April. A fairly concise vintage from a date point of view which clearly reflects the advantage of the warm and even growing season we had.

Our winemaking philosophy is simple, all blocks are multi-cloned (with the exception of the Quarry 10/5) and harvested separately as a block, fermented separately, and put to barrel separately. The allows us to follow the evolution of the wine for the entire 12 months before making our blending decisions and gives early opportunities to evaluate for single block potential going forward. The yeasts are entirely natural, coming from the vineyard, and we make a small natural starter from each parcel after the fruit has been processed into its fermenting vat. Malolactic fermentation is also natural and 100% for both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. We don’t use fining or clarification agents and filtration is minimal – a coarse filtering for Chardonnay and a coarse filtration from the racking valves down for Pinot Noir or not at all. For Chardonnay, our first addition of sulphur as a preservative is after twelve months when we take the wine out of barrel and blend into tank, sometimes a small adjustment is also made before bottling. The Pinot Noir sees an addition of sulphur to protect the fruit during its cold maceration time and acidity adjustment in the fermenters to stabilise the pH for long term stability, colour and ageing. The wine is then left alone and sulphured in tank after barrel ageing for twelve months, with a small sulphur adjustment if necessary before bottling.

BELL HILL
PINOT NOIR 2013

The Bell Hill Pinot Noir is a fifteen barrel selection from the Shelf (from 1998 to 2008 plantings) and select barrels from the Quarry (10/5 clone and the Rootlings), the Slope, The Roadblock and the Westbank (which was co-fermented with some of the Shelf Pinot Noir). Some of the blocks were fermented with 9% to 21% whole cluster and the remaining lots were processed with a combination of whole berry and a smaller proportion of crushed fruit. All ferments had 27-28 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 6 months in tank and was bottled on the 15th of December 2014 with a pH of 3.63, TA of 5.3 g/L, and alcohol of 13.0%. 4,458 bottles were produced.

Dark, slightly brooding fruit, quietly revealing its aromas, hinting at dark berry, spice, flowers and perfume with protein and iron notes. Showing a lively palate with a vibrant structural core of acidity and even tannins - providing the platform for the fruit to reveal itself over time. Quite tightly bound but also speaking of elegance with a mouth filling mineral finish. NZ$120


 

BELL HILL
CHARDONNAY 2013

The 2013 Chardonnay is a five barrel blend from the Shelf, Limeworks (2009 and 1999 blocks) and the Roadblock. The fruit was crushed with stems retained and pressed in our basket press followed by 12 months in French oak (20% new) and 8 months in tank. The wine was bottled on the 15th of December 2014 with a pH of 3.49, TA of 5.1 g/L, and alcohol of 13%. 1,429 bottles were produced.

White flower with lifted floral notes, underpinned with delicate, mineral tones. The palate is dynamic and luminous with fleshy white peach flavours. Very lush and focused with a ripe, rich middle, fine acid balance and length. There is a presence of power and concentration echoed by an ethereal lightness and balance. Spicy and saline, with mineral notes lingering on a pure and persistent finish. NZ$100


OLD WEKA PASS ROAD
PINOT NOIR 2013

The Old Weka Pass Road Pinot Noir is a four barrel blend from select barrels of the Roadblock and Slope with some of the Quarry for complexity. 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 12 months in barrel, it had 6 months in tank and was bottled on the 15th of December 2014 with a pH of 3.71, TA of 5.1 g/L, and alcohol of 13%. 1,056 bottles were produced.
The aromas are vibrant and spicy with savoury forest-floor undertones. Crunchy fruit on the palate with texture, mineral flavours, and earthy tones. A long finish, sinewy tannins accompanied by supple, fleshy fruit. NZ$50