A Charming Trio
Nautilus has been at the vanguard of Pinot Noir winemaking in Marlborough for over twenty four years, since crafting its first Pinot Noir in 1997. Early plantings of Dijon clones and experimenting with single clone/single site trials led to a rapid appreciation of the potential for this variety in the region.
Each year we release a limited pack to share with our costumers, this year we are offering a triple pack with the following wines: Nautilus Awatere River Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016 Varietal composition: 100% Pinot Noir Region: Marlborough Vineyard: Awatere River Vineyard Elevation: 160 m Vine age: 17 years Clones: 114, 667, 777 Planting Density: 2.5m x 1.5m Soils: Glacial outwash gravels over papa Harvest (by hand): 3 April 2016 Fermentation: By indigenous yeast Maturation: 11 months in French Oak Barriques (33% new) Bottling: 10 February 2017 Alc/Vol: 14.0% Res Sugar: Dry Total Acid: 5.1 g/L pH: 3.63
VINEYARD The picturesque Nautilus Awatere River vineyard is located in a small, terraced vineyard approximately 25 kilometers upstream on the north bank of the Awatere River. The vineyard was originally planted in 1992 (the first in the area) and the Pinot Noir was subsequently introduced in 1999. An elevation of 160m and the inland location results in a higher diurnal temperature range and a slightly longer growing season. A high wind run results in a small bunch structure and toughens the skins resulting in good tannin maturity. The vines are trained to a 2 cane VSP trellis system with a target yield of around 1.5 kg per vine. WINEMAKING The fruit was hand-picked and chilled overnight before de-stemming to tank. After a 10 day cold soak the wine completed a spontaneous fermentation and remained on skins for a total of 20 days before pressing. After 24 hours settling, the wine was racked to 228 L French Oak barriques (33% new) and matured for 11 months before clarification and bottling. WINEMAKER’S NOTES This wine has a lifted floral and red fruit character on the nose with hints of spice. The palate is full and long with an assertive tannin structure.
Nautilus Clay Hills Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016 Varietal composition: 100% Pinot Noir Region: Marlborough Vineyard: Clay Hills Vineyard Elevation: 100 – 130 m Vine age: 17 years Clones: 5, 115, 777 Planting Density: 2.0m x 1.5m Soils: Wind blow loess over clay Harvest (by hand): 1 April 2016 Fermentation: By indigenous yeast Maturation: 11 months in French Oak Barriques (33% new) Bottling: 9 February 2017 Alc/Vol: 13.5% Res Sugar: Dry Total Acid: 4.8 g/L pH: 3.59 VINEYARD Nautilus Clay Hills Vineyard is located on the ridge that divides the Brancott and Omaka Valleys within the Southern Valleys sub region of Marlborough. The vineyard is divided into 6 discrete blocks with differing aspects and slopes and an elevation between 100 and 130 m. Normally picked midway through the Pinot Noir harvest window this vineyard has rapidly become the cornerstone block for Nautilus Pinot Noir where the clay based soils contribute a silken texture and fine grained tannins. The vines are trained to a VSP trellis system with a mixture of cane and spur pruning, with a target yield of 1.5 – 2.0 kg per vine. WINEMAKING The fruit was hand-picked and chilled overnight before de-stemming to tank incorporating a 25% whole bunch component. After a 8 day cold soak the wine completed a spontaneous fermentation and remained on skins for a total of 16 days before pressing. After 24 hours settling, the wine was racked to 228 L French Oak barriques (33% new) and matured for 11 months before clarification and bottling. WINEMAKER’S NOTES This wine has aromas of blackberries, black cherries, toasted spices and savoury notes. The mid-palate shows fruit sweetness, while generous but fine-grained tannins contribute to a lingering elegant finish.
Nautilus Chairman’s Reserve Pinot Noir 2019 The Chairman’s Reserve is the result of a long winemaking journey, produced from a selection of Pinot Noir fruit sourced from our two premiere blocks at our Clay Hills vineyard. It is a wine of purity and balance. This limited release wine is a blend selected by and named after Nautilus Estate proprietor Robert Hill-Smith. Only 60 cases were made. Varietal composition: 100% Pinot Noir Region: Marlborough Harvest: March 2014 Winemaker: Clive Jones Alc/Vol: 12.5% Res Sugar: Dry Total Acid: 5.1 g/L pH: 3.68 WINEMAKER’S NOTES This wine is dark ruby in colour. Complex and immediately inviting, the nose reveals fragrant floral aromas, ripe wild blackberries, hints of bergamot and spices. The palate is medium bodied with good structure. Refined and balanced, this elegant wine shows good intensity and a lengthy finish. VINTAGE The 2019 season started with no significant frost issues and reasonable spring rains to keep canopies healthy. Some cool weather during flowering affected the bunch size of some varieties – particularly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and as a result very little thinning was required. Pinot Noir this year is spectacular, with the grapes in excellent condition and the young wines show great colour, fruit concentration and structure. This vintage will certainly be a contender for ‘best yet’ for this variety. WINEMAKING Our Chairman selected a blend of 2 small parcels. The first – a 100% whole bunch ferment, of clone 5, from ‘block 3’. The second was a parcel from ‘block 5’ where a combination of clones 5, 115 & 777 were fermented with a 20% whole bunch component. Both parcels were fermented with natural yeast and occasionally foot or hand plunged. The wines were matured in French Oak barriques for 11 months before blending and bottling in February 2020.