Churton Marlborough Petit Manseng


Churton was fortunate to receive vines from the first New Zealand release of Petit Manseng (from quarantine).  Our Petit Manseng is planted on a stunning ½ hectare block high above the Waihopai Valley with wonderful views across the valley and up into the mountains.  It is our only vineyard block with a north-west aspect. From a biodynamic perspective Petit Manseng seems to belong to the realm of light.  It thrives in the crystal clear days that we have here in Marlborough. It’s growth habit is fairly vigorous with large round leaves and floppy shoots that love to grow along the wires of the trellis. With it’s open bunches, small berries and thick skins it is highly resistent to botrytis.  Early bud burst at the end of September is followed by shoot thinning; flowering is also early, taking place just before Christmas. A certain amount of canopy work is necessary; we usually take out laterals in the fruit zone after fruit set, and may trim once. Veraison occurs in mid February. At this point we’ll balance bunches if necessary by doing a green harvest. Harvest is very late; the 2012 was hand picked on 12th May.  At harvest the bunches are light, open airy and golden hued with high sugar levels and great acid balance.



Hand picked grapes were taken to the winery in 14kg baskets. The grapes were gently whole bunch pressed and the small yield of juice was settled for 12 hours then fermented in a 300litre used hogshead.  The fermentation was slowed down by chilling when the sugar acid balance was nearing its optimum. It  then gradually ticked along, slowly fermenting for another 2 months. The wine was eventually fined and sulphured before filtering back to barrel. It was aged in barrel for a total of 14 months before a final filtration and bottling by hand in July 2013.


Food match:  Great as an aperitif, with a good blue cheese or the classic French match of Foie Gras. Also superb with Mandy’s lightly poached  Marlborough Salmon and crushed herbed potatoes.



Wine Analysis

Alcohol 9.0%
Titratable Acidity 11.6 g/l
Residual grape sugar 72 g/l
pH 2.83

Tasting Notes

Bright, pale, lemon-yellow in colour the Churton Petit Manseng has a complex, aromatic bouquet of spiced ripe apples and quince with an intriguing background of lanolin and sherbert. In the mouth the wine starts medium sweet but ends very dry, the palate is complex and layered with fine direction towards the very tight crisp and mineral like acidity on the finish; great length of flavour; mouth watering.


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