75cl * Organic & Vegan * 14% ABV * Marlborough, New Zealand
Established in 1994, Herzog is an artisan family winery acclaimed for growing handcrafted wines from their exceptional 'Grand Cru' organic vineyard in Marlborough. The Montepulciano is wild yeast fermented before ageing in French barriques before being bottled without fining or filtration and with minimal use of SO2. The vineyard is of shallow stony, gravel and sandy soil, well drained, developed from stony alluvium and not one row shows the same soil type.
January recorded some of the hottest temperatures Marlborough has experienced and the mighty Montepulciano was in its element. A long, dry summer with extremely high sunshine hours, perfect for the lead up to vintage. No cost and time are spared for this late ripening Italian grape variety, spur pruned, leaf plucked with rigorous bunch thinning to bring out the essence of this variety.
Drinking well now but has ageing potential for 15 years +
Hans Herzog Tasting Notes from Jan 2021:
Alluring, complex and multi-layered nose of dark-fruit. Aromas of dark cherries, blueberries and plums with hints of violets, chocolate and spices. Juicy and tantalising acidity with rounded tannins. Real elegance, power, sumptuousness, immensity and emotion is transmitted by tasting this nectar. Enormously long finish, showing a wine great in its youth but with the necessary structure and balance for great longevity.
“Intense, vibrant montepulciano with dark berry, violet, mixed spice, anise and nutty oak flavours. The wine really opened up as it sat in the glass, revealing quite a floral perfume. Nicely structured, with a good balance of fruit and alcohol sweetness with fine tannins to reveal a dry and lengthy finish.” 95 points, Bob Campbell, The Real Review
“The 2018 Secret of Marlborough is a rare, low-yielding 100% Montepulciano from Marlborough (just 500g of fruit per vine making 1,368 bottles). It’s a rich and ripe style, with full body and abundant tannins that are untamed by long élevage and still show their natural propensity for power. This being Marlborough, excellent freshness of acidity gives this wine vivacity and tension. Plum and red cherry flavours meet subtle vanilla spices on the taut finish. Rather confronting in youth. Give this wine time to relax and refine.” 90 points, Rebecca Gibb, Vinous