The Riverby Estate
A major factor in Riverby’s success is the total control over all grape production on the single estate vineyard. A significant portion of the vineyard consists of vines with considerable age and this is complemented by slightly younger vines utilising modern clones. This combination of vine age and meticulous clonal selection is
readily apparent in the high quality fruit being produced.
Vines were first planted in 1989; on land that had previously been used for cropping and sheep farming. Further plantings have continued over the years, until now over 70 hectares are planted out in Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Semillon, and Syrah. The most recent planting is of Gruner Veltliner.
As part of Riverby’s focus on viticultural excellence, yields are kept very low and several varieties are handpicked. Sustainable grape-growing techniques are practiced throughout the whole grape-growing and winemaking cycle.
In a throw-back to past glories, sheep are used extensively throughout the vineyard to control weeds and grass. Horses still graze where once their predecessors used to work the land. Most of the original farm buildings, some up to 100 years old, are still in use, but in a role certainly not envisaged by their builders.
2014 is already considered to be potentially one of the great Marlborough vintages. A long dry, hot summer ensured fruit ripened perfectly and without any pressure from disease. When the time finally came for harvest we were presented with fruit of exceptional quality and finesse.
The fruit for this wine was picked only slightly earlier than usual, in early April, from the very best rows on our Jacksons Road vineyard. We aim to produce a perfectly ripe style of Sauvignon and to achieve this we utilise careful viticultural practices to ensure low yielding, impeccably clean, ripe fruit. The grapes were harvested in the cool of night to retain the classical Sauvignon characters. This wine was entirely fermented and handled in stainless steel and was retained on lees for several months to gain extra complexity.
Pale lemon, light straw in colour, it has a vivacious lifted nose with exuberant notes of capsicum, black passionfruit, gooseberry and freshly cut grass, underpinned by delicate herbal hints and an invigorating burst of lime and grapefruit. On the palate it is medium bodied and beautifully textured, mouth-filling and moreish. This is a very elegant wine, beautifully weighted with delicate acids. The passionfruit and herbal characters abound on the palate, with nuances of ripe stonefruits, and the finish is long, lingering and refined with the lasting impression being of a beautifully crisp, clean and refreshing wine.
Like most of our previous Sauvignons it will continue to develop and gain even greater complexity for many years.