Black Estate have been gaining much attention over the last few years and all of it is well deserved. They are certainly one of the emerging stars in Waipara. The single vineyard wine from the home block at Black Estate displays the hallmark characters of Black Estate Chardonnay – texture, broad suppleness and mineral length.
The Home vineyard is the one in front of the restaurant. All Mendoza clone, planted by Russell Black in 1994. Nicholas makes quite a different style to Russell did, being quite a bit more elegant (no more 15% alc!). Now fully bio-dynamically farmed, a lot of effort has gone into the vineyard to encourage healthy, hardy vines that have roots that penetrate well down into the calcareous vein that runs through the clays soils. This is a rich, concentrated Chardonnay with plenty of palate weight and density.
Winery notes (2018 Vintage)
"Straw, white gold hue. Aromas of grapefruit, hazelnut, orange blossom nectarine and sea spray. The palate is rich pure and integrated with a dense core of concentrated fruit. The flavours taper to a salty mineral and long finish. This is an unfiltered wine with small amounts of sediment. Please allow the bottle to stand and settle before pouring. Decanting will allow maximum expression of aroma and purity of fruit to emerge.
A 15 percent portion was foot crushed then all grapes were whole bunch pressed over a 4 hour press cycle. The juice was not settled, and no additions were made except vineyard derived yeast. Fermentation by yeast propagated from a vineyard starter from the Home vineyard in 500L tight grained French casks (23% new wood). The wine matured on fermentation lees and went through full malo-lactic fermentation in early spring. Blended to tank after 10 months. No fining or filtration. Contains sulphites. 30ppm added."
94/100 Cameron Douglas MS, August 2019 (2018 Vintage)
"Immediately complex bouquet loaded with minerality first then peach, grapefruit, preserved lemon, limestone and a nut-like complexity. Delicious and deliciously dry with flavours of a nut-like butter then peaches and whispers of pineapple, vanilla, some layers of toasty oak and a long detailed finish. A lovely wine poised for enjoyment by you. Decant first for immediate drinking with best drinking from late 2020 through 2025."
4 ½ Stars Michael Cooper (2018 Vintage)
"The 2018 vintage is from the Home Vineyard at Omihi, Waipara, where the oldest vines were planted in 1994. Hand-picked and fermented with indigenous yeasts in French oak barrels, it was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Light gold, it is already very open and expressive, with concentrated, ripe, peachy, slightly toasty flavours, a vague hint of honey, fresh acidity and good complexity. Drink 2021+. Certified organic."
Yvonne Lorkin, July 2018 (2018 Vintage)
"The Home Vineyard sits 6 kilometres north east of the Waipara Junction, in the Omihi sub-district of North Canterbury’s Waipara Valley. The un-grafted, Mendoza-clone chardonnay vines this wine was made from were planted in 1994 and since 2010 have been grown using organic and biodynamic practices, resulting in a wine oozing grilled citrus, layers of caramelised, spicy oak, creamy complexity and has a long, elegant, restrained finish. "Made traditionally, with hand and heart, this bottle contains what happened in 2018" it says on the label. Unfined and unfiltered, you’re going to encounter some cloudiness and sediment, so let the wine settle and preferably decant before serving. A good one for the cellar."