Jurassic Ridge Cabernet Franc
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This ancient variety is famous from the Loire Valley in the AC's of Chinon, Saumur, and Bourgeuil. It has proven to be a variety ideally suited to our vineyard terroir producing well balanced and high quality perfect fruit with great flavour and phenolic extractability season after season, even in the most challenging Waiheke vintages. The grapes are grown sustainably using organic principles as much as possible, green harvested to achieve optimal low cropping and perfect phenolic maturity in the home estate vineyard of Jurassic Ridge, Church Bay (Hangaura) on the West end of Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Gulf. The high quality chateau-selection clones (314 and 326) were originally sourced from Bordeaux and grafted onto phylloxera-resistant rootstock (101-14), and hand-planted in 2002 with close spacing and low fruiting wires for maximum warmth in our North facing block 80m above sea level, into well-drained iron-rich clay soils with volcanic ash and magnesium nodules, over deep clay and 155 million year old weathered-greywacke sedimentary basement.
All grapes are selectively hand-picked, sorted in the field and, from 2006 to 2011 de-stemmed and minimally crushed with up to 20% whole berries in the ferment; and from vintages 2012 and later, 100% uncrushed, whole berry ferments with hand-plunging and an extended maceration before pressing off the skins. The wines are mostly free-run with only a very small fraction of light press wine added to some vintages. After elevage with medium toast French oak for up to 15 months and racking 3-4 times, the wines are bottled without fining and then cellar-aged for 3-5 years before release. No animal products are used in their production.