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Little Wing Marsanne 2019

$42.00
Sale price

Regular price $42.00

"Most often used in Northern Rhône Valley blends, Little Wing’s Marsanne showcases the variety’s aromatic qualities alongside its drier, nuttier nuances. Pressed, naturally fermented and matured for 7 months on lees. A rich, textural white with notes of honeydew melon, stone fruit, brioche and toasted almonds. From a single vineyard site with heavy clay soil overlooking the ocean; Little Wing Marsanne is produced from close planted, hand worked vines and low intervention winemaking to allow full expression of vintage and character of site."

 

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Little Wing

Little Wing is Gillian MacLachlan and her husband, Gareth MacLachlan. After graduating with Viticulture and Enology degrees in California and New Zealand, respectively, they met while interning on the Sonoma Coast and spent the next few years working in wine regions in France, Germany, Australia, NZ and California.

They were always in love with Syrah, but became passionate about it, along with Marsanne, after working in the Northern Rhone in 2010. They continued to work and travel, and landed in Marlborough in 2011 where they stayed for a few years working and growing their family - Gareth managing the organic vineyards at Giesen and Gillian winemaking for a handful of boutique clients at Sugar Loaf Wines.

In 2014 the opportunity came along to purchase a nearly abandoned oceanfront vineyard on scenic Waiheke Island. They got to work resurrecting the property, reviving what was salvageable and re-planting new areas. This gave them the chance to focus on their passion of Syrah and Marsanne and thoughtfully plant the vineyard in a way that could achieve the type of wine that they wanted to make. This meant things like high density planting (5,500 - 6,666 vines/ha), variety and rootstock selection based on the slope and aspect, and multiple clones to aid in complexity.

The vineyard is a natural bowl shape with very steep slopes of heavy clay and a multitude of different aspects and sun exposures. It is also heavily influenced by the ocean. In order to respect this unique site, the vines are all hand-worked and managed organically (though they’re not certified at this stage).

They also make the wine with as little intervention and interference as possible - no yeast, sugar, acid, enzymes or other fining agents are used. They are bottled with minimal sulphur and utilise filtration only when necessary. They love to use whole bunch fermentation in their Syrah and also this year used some skin- fermented Marsanne in the blend. Gillian and Gareth’s ultimate goal is to let the grapes, vintage and site express themselves in the finished wine.

 

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Marsanne

Chardonnay is without a doubt the most known and most widely planted white grape variety around the world. It is historically home in Burgundy where it produces a more refined, mineral and poised wines all up and down the Cote de Beaune and in Chablis. Throughout the new world it gained fame in both California and Australia where it is known to produce big, rich, buttery and tropical fruit-laden white wines.

 

--------THE REGION--------

Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island is a 40 minute ferry ride from Auckland's main harbour and has a range of microclimates completely unique to the island. It is the home to many exciting wines but are the Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant blends and the Syrahs that have put it on the map here and across the world.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir. 

"Most often used in Northern Rhône Valley blends, Little Wing’s Marsanne showcases the variety’s aromatic qualities alongside its drier, nuttier nuances. Pressed, naturally fermented and matured for 7 months on lees. A rich, textural white with notes of honeydew melon, stone fruit, brioche and toasted almonds. From a single vineyard site with heavy clay soil overlooking the ocean; Little Wing Marsanne is produced from close planted, hand worked vines and low intervention winemaking to allow full expression of vintage and character of site."

 

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Little Wing

Little Wing is Gillian MacLachlan and her husband, Gareth MacLachlan. After graduating with Viticulture and Enology degrees in California and New Zealand, respectively, they met while interning on the Sonoma Coast and spent the next few years working in wine regions in France, Germany, Australia, NZ and California.

They were always in love with Syrah, but became passionate about it, along with Marsanne, after working in the Northern Rhone in 2010. They continued to work and travel, and landed in Marlborough in 2011 where they stayed for a few years working and growing their family - Gareth managing the organic vineyards at Giesen and Gillian winemaking for a handful of boutique clients at Sugar Loaf Wines.

In 2014 the opportunity came along to purchase a nearly abandoned oceanfront vineyard on scenic Waiheke Island. They got to work resurrecting the property, reviving what was salvageable and re-planting new areas. This gave them the chance to focus on their passion of Syrah and Marsanne and thoughtfully plant the vineyard in a way that could achieve the type of wine that they wanted to make. This meant things like high density planting (5,500 - 6,666 vines/ha), variety and rootstock selection based on the slope and aspect, and multiple clones to aid in complexity.

The vineyard is a natural bowl shape with very steep slopes of heavy clay and a multitude of different aspects and sun exposures. It is also heavily influenced by the ocean. In order to respect this unique site, the vines are all hand-worked and managed organically (though they’re not certified at this stage).

They also make the wine with as little intervention and interference as possible - no yeast, sugar, acid, enzymes or other fining agents are used. They are bottled with minimal sulphur and utilise filtration only when necessary. They love to use whole bunch fermentation in their Syrah and also this year used some skin- fermented Marsanne in the blend. Gillian and Gareth’s ultimate goal is to let the grapes, vintage and site express themselves in the finished wine.

 

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Marsanne

Chardonnay is without a doubt the most known and most widely planted white grape variety around the world. It is historically home in Burgundy where it produces a more refined, mineral and poised wines all up and down the Cote de Beaune and in Chablis. Throughout the new world it gained fame in both California and Australia where it is known to produce big, rich, buttery and tropical fruit-laden white wines.

 

--------THE REGION--------

Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island is a 40 minute ferry ride from Auckland's main harbour and has a range of microclimates completely unique to the island. It is the home to many exciting wines but are the Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant blends and the Syrahs that have put it on the map here and across the world.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not bitter but rather have refreshing acidity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are very fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not have tannins but have lots of fruity flavours nor do they have extremely high acidity.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami rich foods where by it will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are very fruity but also have higher sweetness.

Wines that are just a touch off-dry like many Gewurztraminer or Riesling work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you should consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or a Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help balance out not just the acidity but to cut down the perception of fattiness in the seafood. 

This is why when you are having a piece of red meat that is high in fat, like lamb, then you should pair it with a Pinot Noir instead of a Merlot as a Pinot Noir will have a higher acidity and will help to balance out the dish.

 

 

These rules will help you with starting to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that are what need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that work well with cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity through a Pinot Noir.