Nautilus Awatere River Pinot Noir 2014
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The natural balance and mathematical precision of the striking Nautilus shell has been our inspiration to create expressive, textural, precisely crafted wines at Nautilus Estate since 1985, the early days of Marlborough winegrowing. Back then there were around 80 wineries in NZ. Today there are around 700. Yet we remain small, under the same family ownership, and committed to making outstanding wines from the stunning Marlborough region of New Zealand. All Nautilus Estate's grapes come from a handful of vineyards in the strikingly beautiful Marlborough region in the South Island of New Zealand. Over the last thirty years, we have searched out special vineyard sites that give distinctive and exciting flavours, from the alluvial flood plains of the Wairau River, to later plantings moving up onto the hills in the Southern Valleys. Differences brought about by altitude, aspect and topography combine with diverse soils to produce unique individual growing conditions and wines. The high sunshine hours (2,400 hours annually), shelter from the prevailing winds, and proximity to the cool Pacific Ocean, combined with a high diurnal temperature range make it a great place to grow grapes. Winemaker Clive Jones joined Nautilus in 1998 and has overseen our Pinot Noir programme from its inception, including planting modern, low yielding, premium Dijon clones and designing a dedicated, gravity-flow Pinot Noir winery in 2000, the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Clive is equally passionate about the other varieties and has designed the Nautilus Whites Cellar in 2006 with Marlborough’s flagship variety, Sauvignon Blanc, along with environmental considerations, firmly in mind. This dedication has been rewarded by numerous accolades and trophies over the years as well as positions for Clive on the Marlborough Winegrowers and national NZ Winegrowers boards. But while we always appreciate recognition from our peers, it is belief in the marriage of fine wine, fine food and great company that inspires each new vintage. All our wines are sustainably produced and vegan friendly.
An icon and leading region of New Zealand's distinctive style of Sauvignon blanc, Marlborough has a unique terroir, making it ideal for high quality grape production (of many varieties). Despite some common generalizations, which could be fairly justified given that Marlborough is responsible for 90% of New Zealand's Sauvignon blanc production, the wines from this region are actually anything but homogenous. At the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, the vineyards of Marlborough benefit from well-draining, stony soils, a dry, sunny climate and wide temperature fluctuations between day and night, a phenomenon that supports a perfect balance between berry ripeness and acidity.
The region’s king variety, Sauvignon blanc, is beloved for its pungent, aromatic character with notes of exotic tropical fruit, freshly cut grass and green bell pepper along with a refreshing streak of stony minerality. These wines are made in a wide range of styles, and winemakers take advantage of various clones, vineyard sites, fermentation styles, lees-stirring and aging regimens to differentiate their bottlings, one from one another.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”