Grape Variety: 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 21% Malbec, 16% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc & 1% Carménère
Growing Region: Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Owner / Winemaker: Stephen White

When Stephen planted his first vines on Waiheke Island in 1982 with the sole intention of making a world-class Bordeaux-style red wine. I am sure no one would have guessed that Stonyridge Vineyard located on at the time an isolated island in the Hauraki Gulf, would reach the heights and stature it has rightfully achieved.

 

If you haven't yet visited the winery, I encourage you - along with the stunning setting, the terroir is ideally suited to ripening bold, confident red varietals. The gentle north-facing slopes of the vineyard are sheltered from the cold south-westerly winds by the ridge which gives the vineyard its name.
The vines from hence the Bordeaux varietals are sourced were chosen specifically to produce this 2012 Larose blend. Yields are typically small, with all grapes being hand-picked and immediately taken just a short distance up to the winery. Where they were crushed, de-stemmed and pumped into stainless-steel tanks to undergo fermentation and approximately two weeks of maceration before being basket-pressed. Malolactic fermentation was completed in barrel, with the wine having 11 months in oak, aged in 100% French barriques, 70% new oak - racked regularly, rarely fined and the final wine not filtered.
2012 was a challenging season, with it starting and finishing later than ever, resulting in fruit having a long hang-time and developing a complex flavour profile. During the development stage an extensive green harvest was carried out, especially with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, post fruit set aiming to increase concentration in the finished wine. During harvest the weather improved, allowing fruit to be picked at ideal ripeness and balance.
In the glass you have an intense dark red, with a crimson hue. On the nose this 2012 Larose shows great intensity and purity of dark berries, wild spice, freshly grated cinnamon and cardamom underpinned by toasted cedar and vanilla from its time in new oak making for a complex and intriguing nose.
On the palate this 2012 Larose even at this early stage in its development is bold, confident, yet still with restrained power with taut and firm tannins, though not restricting the palates superb length, an underlying generosity of ripe dark fruits that promise so much pleasure for the senses with patient cellaring. 1150 cases were made, if opened in the next 3-5 years, decant for 45-60 minutes and serve in a full sized glass at 17-18°C.

An iconic Bordeaux red blend, full of promise.

CELLARING POTENTIAL:
Approachable with decanting this season; though will mature well for another 12-15 years.

SUGGESTED FOOD MATCHES:
Perfect wine pairing with prime aged red meats, game dishes served with a rich wine-jus and earthy, well seasoned vegetables - enjoy.