The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Winemakers take a walk on the wild side

rsz_1nzln-stoneleigh_wild_valley_wonder_of_natureStoneleigh harnessed the wonder of nature when winemaker Jamie Marfell showcased the new Stoneleigh Wild Valley range of wild-fermented wines from a unique tipi amongst the Kelmarna gardens setting recently.

The menu included tempura dandelion leaves, wild fennel and lemon cured salmon matched with Stoneleigh Wild Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015 to Marlborough venison fillet crusted with kawakawa matched to the Stoneleigh Wild Valley Marlborough Pinot Noir 2014.

After a ‘forage’ in the gardens for ingredients to enjoy during lunch, guests learnt about Stoneleigh’s philosophy of minimal-intervention winemaking and celebrated the two new Stoneleigh wild fermented wines on a sunny winter’s day.

rsz_nzln-stoneleigh_wild_valley_duoLaunching with the new vintage 2015 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and a 2014 Marlborough Pinot Noir, Stoneleigh Wild Valley represents the epitome of Stoneleigh’s philosophy of minimal-intervention winemaking. The wines are fermented thanks to indigenous yeasts that are naturally present in Stoneleigh’s vineyards in the Rapaura sub-region of Marlborough.

Marfell explains: “While the winemaking intervention for this new range may be minimal, the care and dedication that goes into the wines is anything but. Stoneleigh Wild Valley uses naturally-occurring micro-flora to ferment the fruit, which gives the resulting wines the purest expression of our terroir. It’s like capturing the essence of our Marlborough vineyards in a bottle.”

The new wines will give New Zealand wine lovers the opportunity to explore the textural and flavour complexity that comes from allowing nature to truly take its course during the fermentation process.

Marfell continues: “Stoneleigh Wild Valley celebrates the lifted, fruit-forward flavour profile that is characteristic of wines made on our sunstone-studded vineyards, then overlays this with the added texture, palate-weight and flavour complexity that comes with the use of wild yeasts that are native to our vineyard eco-system.”

Stoneleigh Wild Valley wines are expected to appeal to gourmands, as the rich, textural palate and complex flavours of the wines make them a perfect accompaniment for food matching occasions. Stoneleigh Wild Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015 shows great generosity, with lifted grapefruit and nectarine aromas and citrus and passionfruit flavours, while Stoneleigh Wild Valley Marlborough Pinot Noir 2014 is a vibrant wine with flavours of wild berries, strawberries, raspberries and dark cherries with a subtle, toasty savouriness.

Stoneleigh Wild Valley wines are now available from leading liquor retailers (RRP $18.99) throughout New Zealand.