Since its inception in 1993, partners John Hancock, who has been making wine in New Zealand for over 35 years, and Robert and Robyn Wilson, owners of The Bleeding Heart and The Don in London, have made Trinity Hill a byword for quality and consistency. Winemaker Warren Gibson has been with Trinity Hill since 1997. He is also in charge of the 80 hectares of vineyard owned by Trinity Hill, 47 of which are in the Gimblett Gravels and knows the Hawkes Bay and Gimblett Gravels exceptionally well. The wines reflect this, as they characterise the best of what Hawkes Bay can produce. They have an elegance, balance, drinkability and precision of flavour that makes them a joy to sell.
The grapes are sourced from various vineyards throughout Hawkes Bay, including the sub-regions Raukawa, Haumoana, Bridge Pa Triangle and Gimblett Gravels. The soils are free draining with low fertility and the vines benefit from prevailing hot, dry westerly winds. The final blend is comprised of Chardonnay clones 15, 95 and 548. Yields are controlled to ensure Trinity Hill's philosophy of "quality over quantity".
2016 was a warm growing season in Hawkes Bay with a typically dry, late summer – perfect for Chardonnay, allowing the fruit to reach optimal maturity.
The grapes were sourced from four uniquely different vineyards sites in Hawkes Bay, each harvested separately and then gently pressed without crushing or destemming. This helped to discourage phenolic pickup and improved the texture and ageing ability of the wine. The winemaking process included both indigenous yeast and malolactic fermentations in French oak barrels for 11 months, followed by four further months on full lees in tank.
On the nose, this wine shows typical fresh aromatics of citrus, white flowers and stone fruits. These aromas are complemented on the palate by a creamy richness from lees ageing and roasted hazelnuts and almonds, alongside hints of gunflint from the indigenous fermentation in barrel.