When we started we were brave,
or silly, and amongst the only ones.
Now we share the valley with many others.
It’s what this place was for. It's our house
our exciting crowded house.
There is something very special about Marlborough. We are yet to visit a more ideally located wine region and a climate more suited to high quality cool-climate viticulture. Its high sunshine hours, crisp clean air, low summer rainfall and virgin soils make for consistently high quality wines. Having followed and now lived with Marlborough's progression over the last 15 years, we continue to be fascinated by the diversity of styles of wine that this region can produce, the sub-regional variation and excited by what may evolve in the future as the region matures.
And then of course there's the outdoor lifestyle…from the snow-capped mountains and alpine lakes in one direction, to rugged coastlines and stunning tramping through native bush the other. We can still remember flying into Marlborough for the first time in 2005, over the labyrinth of finger-like outcrops and deep turquoise water that are the drowned valleys of the stunning Marlborough Sounds, and into the crisp air that awaited me on the ground. It is something that still gives me goosebumps every time we fly in today.
Our philosophy is simple - source outstanding fruit from exceptional vineyard sites. We believe the most critical decision in winemaking is deciding when to pick. Once harvested, our role is to simply steer the fruit in the right direction in order to best express the vibrant fruit flavours that Marlborough is renowned for while respecting the subtle differences of each site.
Our aspiration at Crowded House is to produce wines that capture the very essence of Marlborough, with vibrant and fresh aromatics, powerful fruit concentration and a refreshing, cleansing acid finish. These wines are about fruit purity, and our aim is for them to be equally enjoyable to drink by themselves amongst friends, as they are paired with a variety of foods.
A drought summer for Marlborough this season resulted in low crops and fruit with an excellent concentration of flavour. With harvest late March and early April, across vineyards in the Wairau Valley and Southern Valley subregions of Marlbourogh.
The resulting 2016 Sauvignon Blanc is quintessentially Marlborough in profile with bright aromas of guava, citrus fruits, black currant and sweet crushed herbs. The palate is elegantly proportioned with lovely soft acid carrying the fruit flavours to a long, pure finish. Enjoy with fresh seafood, summer salads and Asian cuisine.
The 2015/16 growing season was warm and dry, enabling Pinot Gris to be picked with pristine fl avours at relatively low sugar levels. This has ensured that the wine maintains a lightness and freshness while at the same time offering palate weight and texture thanks to the variety’s inherent richness. Aromatic notes of quince, pear and apricot blossom jump from the glass and lead to an elegant, focussed palate with a lovely pure line and fl avour persistence,finishing dry and cleansing.
The grapes for the 2015 Pinot Noir were harvested from 5 different vineyards across the Marlborough. Selecting the best grapes from the Southern Valleys (57%), Wairau Valley (41%) and Awatere Valley (2%). The fruit was fermented in open top vessels that were plunged twice a day. Fermentation occurred naturally following a 3 day cold soak with extended maceration on skins post fermentation. All the parcels of juice were run to French Oak barriques and matured prior to bottling in March 2016.
The result is a medium bodied Pinot Noir, the palate is silken and seductive with cherry and raspberry flavours to the fore, and undertones of savoury dried spices and earth. Gentle tannins and a fine acid framework ensure these flavours persist on the palate. A great match with classic Italian pizza or meaty pasta dishes, but also pairs well with more serious Spring lamb and duck featured meals.