2020 Zephyr 'Agent' Orange
Region: North Canterbury < New Zealand
Grape: 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Riesling, 20% Gewurztraminer
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; Kaiapoi silt loa; fermented as whole bunch/cluster for 69 days then basket pressed and placed in stainless barriques to relax for 8months before racking off lees and resting for a further month before hand bottling on 28th November (a fruit day!), unfined/unfiltered, with <40ppm added So2; 11.5% ABV
Winemaker: Jack and Ben Glover
In 1985, inspired by the pioneering efforts of other Marlborough mavericks, the Glover family converted their farm in Dillons Point to vine. The terroir here is special, bordered by the Opawa River, which over the centuries has flooded and deposited fertile silt loam onto the vineyard sites, making for very rich soils. The river's waters are also home to abundant plant, bird and fish life, creating a vibrant ecosystem. And the vineyard is only 3 km from the sea, a proximity that lends a salty charafcter to the wines.
In 2007 Owen and Wendy Glover’s went from growing grapes to starting the Zephyr brand, named after the prevailing wind that cools their vineyards. Now sons Jack and Ben are on board, maintaining the organic farming practices and pushing into more experimental wine territory, like this long-macerated orange wine 'Agent'. A blend of NZ's ubiquitous Sauv Blanc with aromatic Riesling and Gewurztraminer, the color is light, more of a hazy golden than orange, despite a long skin maceration (69 days). It smells floral and a touch salty, but the palate is aromatic and juicy, with tropical fruit, some fuzzy peach, vibrant acidity and that salinity showing up again on the dry finish. The skin contact gives the wine a nice chewy texture, but it isn't tannic as many big time skin contact wines can be. A super delicious and friendly orange wine from down under!