Hēmi Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2016

Hēmi Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2016

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Hēmi Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2016

NZ$228.00 incl. GST incl. GST was $38.00 per bottle

Tasting notes

This elegant yet complex expression of Upper Awatere Chardonnay displays fragrant aromas of white peach, tropical fruits and soft smoky oak. The richly textured palate shows integrated citrus, stonefruit and mealy characteristics that are unified with refined acidity and a highly considered use of French oak; all leading to a wine with seamless balance, refinement and length. Only 50 cases produced.

Hēmi is a tribute to James Wheeler. From Te Atiawa, he is the leading pioneer of Māori wine. Greatly admired for his passion establishing Tohu Wines, we acknowledge his foresight, dedication and legacy.

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A small parcel of carefully hand-harvested grapes was gently whole-bunched pressed by modern membrane presses once at the winery. Unsettled, the resulting juice was then moved to old French oak barriques for fermentation. Left to begin fermentation with natural ‘wild’ yeasts, a specially chosen cultivated yeast was then added part way through fermentation to assist the wine to dryness. After fermentation was complete each barrel underwent twice weekly batonage - or lees stirring - promoting yeast autolysis and adding both body and complexity to the wine. Malo-lactic fermentation naturally occurred once the weather warmed in the spring, with each barrel carefully monitored during this time. Once the MLF had finished each barrel was individually assessed, with all three deemed exception enough to make the final blend. Once blending was completed the wine was readied for bottling; unfined, in early February.


The grapes for this wine come from the Awa (river) block of our stunning Upper Awatere vineyard in Marlborough. Planted in 2010, the 2014 harvest was the first pick off this stilt-loam terraced block – with small yields only just reaching one tonne per hectare. Difficult early season growing conditions had a marked effect on the amount of grapes produced, however a hot and dry ripening period meant the vineyard crew were able to deliver intensely flavoured and perfectly ripe grapes to the winemakers on the 8th April at 23.4 brix.


Vintage: 2015

Alcohol: 14%

pH: 3.53

T/A: 4.8g/l

R.S: 1.1g/L