The name Terra Sancta means ‘sacred earth’ or ‘special dirt’ and Terra Sancta is exactly that, a very special part of the world. Whilst the weather did not play ball last Friday, it had no effect on the beauty of this vineyard at the end of Felton Road in Bannockburn (though did stop us traipsing through the vineyards chasing chickens).
We tasted through the range, including a number of new releases. There were many highlights and I loved the single vineyard Pinot Noirs, though the rosés are well worth a second (and third look). In fact, it was refreshing (and rare in NZ) to see a winery taking rosé this seriously. The 2018 Estate Rosé is in bottle and about to be released. Made from 100% Estate fruit from Felton Road, it is very aromatic, with a lovely savoury palate and dry finish. It’s a mid-weight rosé with a gorgeous texture that I loved. This year there’s a higher percentage of wild fermentation in the barrel, a really smart rosé. Not yet in bottle, there is also a Special Release from the 2018 vintage. The low quantity made of this premium rosé clear to see – there’s one barrel. We were fortunate enough to taste a barrel sample and it’s exceptional. I can’t wait until this is in bottle.
The other barrel samples we tried included the 2018 Pinot Gris. It is naturally ended with a higher residual than the Pinot Gris usually has and, for me, it’s much better for it. It is a weighty, rich Pinot Gris that would be gorgeous with cheese and cured meats.
As for the Pinot Noirs, the line-up is impressive and, for me, particularly the Shingle Beach 2016. Whilst I loved the red fruited Jacksons Block 2016, it was the layers of complex fruit and earth together with truffle that had me going back to my glass over and over. Unfined and unfiltered, with very little S02 used, this year’s rendition has more of a focus on minimal intervention, and it works. A wine to look out for.