Muddy Water Pinot Noir Waipara 1999
Pinot Noir from Wairarapa, New Zealand
Muddy Water is an exciting new winery
which enjoyed its first vintage in 1996. It is positioned on the gently rolling slopes of the Waipara Valley. The climate is typified by hot dry summers and long sunny autumns leading to the production of intensely flavored ripe grapes. Several soil types are found in the area- Muddy Water has loam over calcarious clay on limestone
The hot summer of 1999 demanded careful viticulture practices to protect and nurture the fickle prince of grapes.
Three individual pickings spread over a week at varying levels of ripeness, ensured a complex flavor profile to the wine ranging from raspberry to plum. The wine was fermented in open vats and aged in French oak barriques with the use of 25% new oak. The resultant wine
is stunning with both power and finesse. The tannin structure is soft
and approachable allowing the wine to be consumed immediately yet with cellaring it is expected to produce the added complexity of the forest floor.
Muddy Water Winery
Muddy Water is an exciting new winery, which enjoyed its first vintage in 1996. It is positioned on the gently rolling slopes of the Waipara Valley.
Waipara has recently been granted separate appellation status by the New Zealand Wine Institute because of its very special mesoclimate.
The climate is typified by hot dry summers and long sunny autumns leading to the production of intensely flavoured ripe grapes.
Several soil types are found in the area- Muddy Water has loam over calcarious clay on limestone bedrock.
The company is family owned and headed by Michael and Jane East with the philosophy that only premium wines will be produced.
All the wine is of reserve standard due to very low cropping levels and intense canopy management. All the grapes are hand picked and estate grown. Careful extraction of the juice follows, with fastidious attention to detail during the whole of the vinification process.
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About Waipara Valley
About an hour north of Christchurch, the region of Waipara is a more recent development in the already short wine history of New Zealand. Between the city of Christchurch and Marlborough, Waipara claims a similar climate to Marlborough due to the mountainous protection from easterly winds.
Notable Facts Most vines are on hillsides and face north, getting as much sun as possible. Pinot Noir and Riesling are the self-proclaimed regional specialties, but the area is also known for good Sauvignon Blancs and Chardonnays.
About New Zealand
The country of New Zealand is about 1000 miles from the coast of Australia. It consists of two long islands, end to end, that are approximately the same length as California. Most of the country's climate is maritime due to the abundant coastline. The northern island is warmer and wetter, while the southern island is cooler and dryer. The most popular grapes of New Zealand are Sauvignon Blanc
(made most famous by the bright, crisp wines coming out of Marlborough), Chardonnay
and the ever-growing Pinot Noir
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.