Millar Road comprises both guest accommodation and a wine producing estate in the hills above Haumoana overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. It provides stylish accommodation as well as crafting certified organic, naturally vinified wines from its own vineyards. Produced under the banner of their subsidiary, Supernatural Wine Company, these wines are low sulphur with some being skin-fermented white wines, all sourced from their north-facing hillside estate in Hawke’s Bay on New Zealand’s North Island.
Their philosophy centres on great terroir and traditional ways of working, the aim being to make all wines as naturally as possible. The use of indigenous yeast from their own vineyard for fermentation as well as ensuring that they add nothing to the wines other than a little sulphur prior to bottling results in wines of pure, vibrant character. The focus is on producing dry aromatic and skin-fermented white wines in a very clean and direct style.
Their vineyard at Millar Road has proven pedigree being in proximity to and on similar soils, slope and aspect as Te Mata’s Coleraine vineyard, one of New Zealand’s most accoladed sites. Bearing in mind that more than 90% of New Zealand’s vineyards are on flat land with alluvial gravel soils, this soil and site produces very distinctive wines in a New Zealand context.
The site is a standout location for viticulture being situated on a north-facing hillside with slopes up to 30 degrees. Soils are lime-rich clay with volcanic influence. In total the estate encompasses just under 20 hectares, with just 9 hectares planted to vines – 8 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc and almost 1 hectare of Pinot Gris (approximately 1,800 vines only!). All were planted in 2004 and 2005.
The company gained full organic certification with BioGro New Zealand in March 2015 and commenced biodynamic farming practices in 2015.
Being naturally fermented in bottle, sediment will remain. Chill and carefully invert bottle before opening to enjoy cloudy. You will be rewarded with pear, ginger, lemon zest and biscuity aromas followed by a soft and creamy mousse on the palate with lime marmalade and vanilla finishing with mandarin and mineral notes. Sealed with a crown cap. Strictly limited stock – only 90 bottles available in the UK!
‘Petillant Naturel’ is an ancient method of making sparkling wines (sometimes called methode ancestral). It produces bubbles by completing the first fermentation in the bottle – which is why the sediment is left in the final wine. The Champagne, or ‘traditional’ method is where the first fermentation is completed before the wine is put into bottle, then sugar and yeast are added to create a second fermentation.
Recommended by Stephen Wong MW – ‘The bubbles create a sense of creaminess and softness to the otherwise honeyed, crisp palate. Just off-dry, it combines a crisp cucumber/chalky phenolic with an intense, fleshy and juicy mid-palate of honeyed baked apples and quince. Generous and grainy in parts, it is certainly fun, but also subliminally quite serious wine! As close as you’re likely to get to tasting a fresh wine which has just finished fermentation (literally?!)‘ Stephen Wong MW, July 2017
The Supernatural Wine Co. - The Super Nat
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