Villa Maria Debuts Attorney Pinot Noir for 60th Anniversary
Villa Maria's The Attorney Pinot Noir 2019
© photo provided
David Roper, senior winemaker at Villa Maria says: “2022 was the 60th vintage for Villa Maria and this is the 2019 wine we have released in conjunction with this anniversary – but we have made wines from this vineyard for a long time.”
A new old vineyard
Roper then explains: “The story of the vineyard is great. It was owned by Chris Finlayson who was the attorney general of New Zealand. He loved Pinot Noir, he was the person who established the vineyard and it was just called the Finlayson vineyard, and the fruit made it into our Reserve wines.” However, Villa Maria finally managed to buy the vineyard – and this changed the game. “In order to make a single vineyard wine, it really has to come from a company-owned vineyard,” Roper says, noting that the fruit from the vineyard “often ended up in the Villa Maria Reserve Pinot Noir. The opportunity to purchase it was amazing. ”
Honouring the lawyer
“As a recognition of Finlayson and his dedication to Pinot Noir we thought it was a great idea to call the wine after him,” Roper says. “We know that this area of the Wairau Valley, the Southern Valleys, is great. It is quite a sheltered site, with clay-based soil, which is a distinct feature of the vineyard. It is north-facing and has a little more elevation and the fruit it produces always has very small bunches with very concentrated berries. We obviously wanted to make a special nod to the anniversary, and we have our icon wine portfolio where we have a Chardonnay and a Cabernet Sauvignon from Hawke’s Bay, and we always looked for a Pinot Noir to add to that range. The fruit from this block always looked amazing, and this was a natural decision. What I love about it is that it is a departure from a Marlborough style, it is a real single vineyard expression, it has much more savouriness.
Just 3,700 bottles were made of the 60th Anniversary Limited Edition – they are available from selected retailers for £70.
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