Our philosophy and stylistic direction with Chardonnay is to focus on the textural element of the palate rather than emphasising primary fruit characters. The cool temperatures in Marlborough work to retain fruit character and we want to use these characters to give more interest to the palate by fermenting warmer and using very natural techniques in our winemaking.
The fruit was sourced from both our Home and Raupo Creek vineyards. Because of intensive viticultural practices the fruit was very well exposed and reached optium physiological ripeness before being harvested between April 12 and May 03, 2005. The fruit was handled as gently as possible and a portion briefly settled before fermentation, with the remaining part going straight to barrel. The blend was fermented in French Oak utilising only indigenous yeasts. Following primary fermentation the wine was put through malolactic fermentation, which occurred naturally in barrel. The indigenous yeast, fermentation techniques, malolactic, and extended lees contact are all used to contribute complexity, texture, and integration to the wine.
Michael Seresin, a New Zealand born filmmaker based in London, is the sole owner of Seresin Estate. While racking up credits as cinematographer for movies such as Fame, Angela’s Ashes and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban he also bought 167 acres in Marlborough in 1992 and started seriously exploring his passion for wines. Inspired by his first glass of Cloudy Bay, he hired Brian Bicknell, Chief Winemaker at Viña Errazuriz in the Aconcagua Valley, Chile and they began planting Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Riesling.
It’s important to Michael that all three vineyards are managed and certified organic under BioGro certification. The estate is also striving for biodynamic certification because as he recently told Wine Spectator, “Some of the best vineyards in Burgundy are doing it. It has nothing to do with sales or marketing… in essence it’s traditional agriculture.” (July 10, 2006)
This philosophy of working in harmony with nature is evident in their commitment to careful hand-tending, and hand-harvesting and sorting. It also is represented in their efforts to work with natural elements such as wild yeasts to elicit a true Marlborough character in their wines with minimal wine-maker intervention in order to allow the layers of flavor to evolve, so the wines are a natural expression of the soil from which they come.
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Sitting pretty on the northern tip of New Zealand's south island, Marlborough has become synonymous with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. As well it should be – Marlborough is the primary region for those delicious, citrusy, summer-lovin' wines with vibrant acidity and pungent, grassy, grapefruit flavors. Sauvignon Blanc is the main grape here; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling are also made.
The region has well-drained alluvial loam soils, which are perfect for grape growing. The grapes receive a good deal of sunshine during the day, but recovers in the cool evenings. Marlborough's growing season is long, which helps foster the gradual, even ripening of the grapes. Not made for much aging, the Sauvignon Blancs of Marlborough are of the buy ‘em and drink ‘em class of wine. Expect little vintage variation here - quantity differs more than quality.
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.
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.