“Fresh cut grass, zingy refreshing acidity, juicy and fresh, hints of citrus blossom and passionfruit.”
“Bright clean fresh green apple fruit. A delicate bright fresh fruit nose showing hints of citrus and green apple. Lovely balanced acid with a slight gooseberry lift on the finish. Wine balances out well with this dish as brightness comes through.”
Lawson’s Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2018 was judged with Marinated Zucchini with Hazelnuts and Goat Ricotta
Presented by chef Marcell Kustos
- 6 zucchini, thinly sliced (thinnest on the mandolin) and salted (½ zucchini/person)
- 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, roasted at 180C with salt and olive oil for 20 min
- ¼ cup blanched hazelnuts, roasted at 180C for 6 min, roughly chopped
- 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
- 1 small garlic clove, finely grated, fried
- ¾ tsp. sugar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ lemon
- Salt if needed
- 250g fresh ricotta (in tube, not the crumbly one you bought for the trial)
- 50g fresh goats cheese
- 1 sprig dill, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp salt
- Mix the ricotta cream with stick mixer until smooth, set aside.
- Press the liquid out of the salted zucchini. Mix with dressing.
- Smear ricotta cream on plate, add roasted tomatoes and zucchini on top and finish with hazelnut and a drizzle of flesh olive oil. Note: The pairing is based on the sour-salty interplay of the dish and the crisp acidity in the SB wines. Make sure both salt and acidity of the dish are in check.
We could just take the ripe, flavour-filled grapes, press them and put the juice into a stainless steel tank, add some cultured yeast and let it ferment, then bottle it soon after. This would be the ‘norm’ for a chardonnay that is made without oak influence.
But we choose to do it differently because we believe our technique makes a more interesting and more delicious wine.
Our Chardonnay is made from the Mendoza clone grown on our Chaytors Road vineyard, close to the coast at the eastern end of the Wairau Valley. The free-draining soils and moderating influence of the nearby ocean combine to produce concentrated fruit with a fresh acidity.
The grapes are hand-picked and arrive at the winery in the early morning. They are gently crushed and about 85% of the resulting juice is run into a stainless-steel tank. 15% goes into old French oak barrels (you can’t smell or taste any oak influence, the oak is too old for that), to provide added complexity and texture.
But the real trick to this wine is the use of wild yeasts. This means we use yeast that is naturally present on the skins of the grapes, in the vineyard and in the winery, rather than buying an ‘off the shelf’ cultured yeast to inoculate the juice and trigger the alcoholic fermentation. In addition, this technique would usually take place when barrels are used, whereas with this wine we have undertaken a wild ferment in stainless steel.
Finally, rather than rushing the finished wine into bottle, we let it stay in tank (and the old barrels) for a further five months, sitting on the yeast lees. Lees are essentially dead yeast cells that slowly drop to the bottom of the vessel in which the fermentation has taken place. This technique serves to add texture to the wine and a richness of flavour – gentle mealy, creamy, almost toasty and nutty characters than you don’t expect in a wine that has no ‘oak’ influence.
The result is an imminently drinkable, smooth, weighty and textural Chardonnay that is 100% true to its varietal as there is no oak flavour to mask it.
Enticing lemon, beeswax and subtle stonefruit aromas lead to a palate which is dry and balanced with gentle acidity and lovely concentration. Citrus notes are combined with some savoury lees notes and there is a lovely texture to this wine, but without it being overpowering.
Delicious now as it shows the purity of the fruit character with the balance of fresh acidity, but the wine will continue to develop favourably in bottle for two to three years.
Delicious on its own, or to accompany seafood, creamy risottos and pasta dishes, fresh salmon, soft white cheeses and chicken.
Alc 13%, pH 3.3, TA 6.3, RS 0
Brand new wine, PINK Pinot by Marlborough wine producer Lawson’s Dry Hills, has been awarded a silver at the Harper’s Design Awards 2019. The label was designed by Jason Petersen of Gusto Design, Nelson.
Harpers is owned by Agile Media, a respected B2B drinks publishing and events company based in the UK. The company publishes Drinks International, Harpers Wine & Spirit and Drinks Retailing News.
According to Harpers, the look and design of product packaging has never been more important in demonstrating brand values and giving cues to the quality of the liquid inside.
In October a panel of designers and key on and off trade buyers were brought together to assess all the entries and deliver their expert opinion on which products have proven themselves worthy of a medal place and deserve to be category champions 2019.
One of the judge’s commented on PINK, “Unique for wine and works well for rosé as well as price. Simple, unique, effective.”
Commenting on the result, Petersen said, “It was fun and exciting to do something so different within the wine category and good to work with a producer willing to break the mould.”
The full results will be published in Harpers Wine & Spirit and available to view all year round from 13 December 2019 at www.harpers.co.uk.
Media release for immediate publication
24 October 2018
Champion Sauvignon Blanc and Champion Gewurztraminer for Marlborough’s Lawson’s Dry Hills at the New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards
Lawson’s Dry Hills has been awarded two trophies at the 2018 New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards
The company’s Awatere Valley, single vineyard wine, Blind River Sauvignon Blanc 2018 won the Antipodes Water Company Champion Sauvignon Blanc trophy while the Lawson’s Dry Hills Gewürztraminer 2016 received the Riedel New Zealand Champion Gewürztraminer trophy.
Commenting on the results, Chief Winemaker, Marcus Wright said, “It’s great to receive the Gewurztraminer trophy – that’s three years in a row and we’re delighted, but to be recognised for one of our Sauvignon Blancs is very exciting.” He continues, “The Blind River vineyard is a very special site and superbly looked after by our Viticulturist, Mark Ludemann and his team.”
The Lawson’s Dry Hills team are no strangers to awards, receiving eight gold medals in the last two weeks from New Zealand-based shows. Group Marketing Manager, Belinda Jackson comments, “Awards are great recognition of the wines we love to make. Five out of the six grape varieties we produce have been awarded gold medals this month which is great for us and for our distribution partners around the world.”
From humble, yet pioneering beginnings 25 years ago, the small team at Lawson’s Dry Hills continue to explore what they can do differently, do better. From grape to glass the company has ownership of every part of the process and believes this total control is an important part of making top quality wine.
For more information please email [email protected] or call 03 578 7674.
If ever you meet a winemaker and you’re stuck for conversation, just talk about the weather. This year there was plenty for winemakers right across the country to talk about. April 13th was unlucky for some as Cyclone Cook – the worst storm since the Wahine disaster – poured cold water on some vintners harvest plans.
Fortunately, having its own harvester means Marlborough’s Lawson’s Dry Hills is autonomous and not dependent on the availability of contractors. This gives the team greater freedom to harvest when the fruit reaches optimum ripeness and before the weather deteriorates. Sadly the harvests of many other Marlborough vineyards were less successful while some even left their fruit to rot on the vine.
As General Manager Sion Barnsley recounted, “While the grapes were picked with lower brix (sugar levels) this year, concentration and flavour were good.” Achieving a good harvest even in challenging years is very much the result of good vineyard management, as Lawson’s Dry Hills vines are low yielding, producing fruit off two canes rather than four canes as is the practice in many local vineyards. This concentrates more flavour into fewer bunches and also helps the vine to ripen the fruit sooner. Quality-focussed practices like this have ensured that, despite the challenges of inclement weather, 2017 has been a successful vintage.
Proof of the quality is already coming in for all the Lawson’s Dry Hills brands, with successes in a range of wine shows both here and internationally.
Our ‘Mount Vernon’ Sauvignon Blanc 2017 has already won a gold medal at each of the following:
- NZ International Wine Show 2017
- Marlborough Wine Show, 2017
- New World Wine Awards 2017
- Air NZ Wine Awards 2017
- Sydney International Wine Competition 2018
And runner up in Winestate’s ‘Wine of the Year’ Competition coming second out of all Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand and Australia in 2017.
And it hasn’t been only Mount Vernon that has been stealing the limelight, other Lawsons’ Dry Hills brands and varietals from the past two vintages have done well this year.
Wine Award Show Lawson’s Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Silver Medal Air NZ Wine Awards Gold Medal New World Wine Awards Blue Gold Medal Sydney International Wine Competition Lawsons’ Dry Hills Gewürztraminer 2016 Trophy – Champion Gewurztraminer Marlborough Wine Show Trophy – Champion Gewurztraminer Air NZ Wine Awards Gold Medal Air NZ Wine Awards Gold Medal NZ International Wine Show Lawson’s Dry Hills Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Five Stars and No.1 Cuisine Magazine #186 (out December 2017) Lawson’s Dry Hills Chardonnay 2016 Silver Medal NZ International Wine Show Lawson’s Dry Hills Riesling 2015 Trophy – Best Aromatic Wine Sydney International Wine Competition Trophy – Best Dry White Table Wine Sydney International Wine Competition Gold Medal International Wine Challenge Lawson’s Dry Hills Pinot Gris 2016 Gold Medal New World Wine Awards Lawson’s Dry Hills Reserve Pinot Noir 2015 Gold Medal New World Wine Awards Blind River Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Double Gold Medal Six Nations Wine Challenge Blind River Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Blue Gold Medal Sydney International Wine Competition
Looking to the 2018 vintage, Marlborough was less affected by the wintery blast which hit the southern areas of New Zealand’s South Island in early November 2017. Central Otago shivered under a blanket of frost and ski fields enjoyed fresh cover while gale force winds hit Wellington and threatened sailings of the Cook Strait ferries. Luckily, Marlborough temperatures stayed just above zero keeping the frost fans silent. Now as summer begins, that late wintery blast has been replaced by a warmer than usual December setting up the expectation for an exciting 2018 harvest. Stay tuned.
The Lawson’s Dry Hills Riesling 2015 has been awarded a GOLD MEDAL at the Royal Easter Show Wine Awards 2017, this award comes hard on the heels of the same wine being selected as FIVE STARS AND BEST BUY in the March issue of Cuisine magazine(issue 181) “This Riesling has length and elegance”.