This incredibly rare, one-off Port-style wine is made predominantly from the Tinta Roriz grape variety with small amounts of Touriga Nacional and Touriga Francesa from the 2004 vintage. Undoubtedly the first wine of this type to be made in New Zealand using these native Portuguese grape varieties that are used in the making of the great wines of the Douro Valley, Portugal. Following harvest, fermentation and fortification the wine spent 12 years maturing in 225 litre French oak barriques before both hand-bottling and labelling in October 2016.
Touriga Nacional 76%, Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo) 24%
Hand harvested: Touriga Nacional 27/4/2004
Alcohol 18.5 %
Titratable acidity 5.4 g/l
2004 was a good season in Hawkes Bay. We were able to harvest both the Touriga Nacional and the Tinta Roriz in excellent condition and with good maturity to make a port styled wine. Tinta Roriz ripens quite early in Hawkes Bay and Touriga, while late ripening, has very tough skins, so it is not difficult to get to the right maturity level to make this kind of wine.
The hand harvested fruit was destemmed and crushed separately for each variety. Each fermentation took place sepa5rately in small stainless fermenters, at ambient temperature. The caps were punched down frequently for the first few days of fermentation until the sugar had reached the required level. Alcohol was then added to the ferment, still on skins, to kill the yeast. This stops the fermentation to retain the sweetness that we associate with port. After a further 2 days on skins, the must was pressed. The wine was then allowed to settle until clear and transferred to small French oak barrels for maturation. Each wine is kept separate during barrel aging. After about 24 months in barrel, we blended a portion of Tempranillo with the Touriga to bottle in a late bottled vintage style. The wine was bottled in June 2006.
Each year we have added a few barrels to the solera for future use as a tawny style port.
This wine is undoubtedly the first port-style wine to be made utilising true Port varieties in New Zealand. Touriga Nacional is the great port variety in Portugal. Tinta Roriz is the Portuguese synonym for Tempranillo, also one of the best port varieties. Both these varieties are rare in New Zealand. As far as we are aware, Trinity Hill is the only grower of Touriga in this country. We grow it in the stony, free-draining and warm soils of the Gimblett Gravels.
Blackberry and plum fruit aromas with spice characterize the wine, with a little vanillin from oak barrels. This is a result of fully ripened fruit under our temperate conditions, which do not produce jammy characters as can happen in a hotter climate. The texture is rich and smooth, but not cloyingly sweet, with tannin balancing the sweetness. There is great persistence of the black fruit flavours on the finish. The wine will age well for more than 10 years or so. Imagine it with a beautiful blue cheese or a lovely Parmigiano.