She is a self declared Huntress by name and by nature and, now, Wairarapa winemaker Jannine Rickards has released the first two vintages of her new wines, branded Huntress.
They break the mould, in more ways than one. Aside from the distinctive artwork on the labels, featuring native New Zealand birds and trees, the first two wines are deeper shade of rosé, which looks more like a light red wine (and is bone dry, incidentally – proof yet again that colour and dryness are not a linear relationship in rosé) and a Pinot Noir from the tricky vintage of 2017.
The rosé is made from certified organic grapes grown in Gladstone, in the central Wairarapa, where she works full time as winemaker for Urlar Vineyard.
The deeper shade of Huntress Rosé
This wine is bone dry but falls midway between being a pink wine and a Pinot Noir, in terms of colour, taste and style.
“I thought it would be really nice to have a rosé that’s a bit deeper in colour, totally dry and a different style than many out on the market now,” says winemaker Jannine Rickards, of her first vintage of 2018 Huntress Waikura Rosé.
It’s sealed with a screwcap and labelled with original artwork depicting native New Zealand birds, drawn by Martinborough artists Dusty and Lulu.
Waikura means ‘red glow in the sky’ and is a fitting description of her relatively dark rosé – or pale red – depending on your take on the colour.
Rickards made her rosé using a combination of winemaking styles. She incorporated 70% whole bunch carbonic maceration with 30% Saignee Pinot Noir, which was fermented in old French oak. It was then aged in old oak for a couple of months, prior to racking, after a small sulphur addition (40ppm), filtering, then bottling. She made 1300 bottles.
The Pinot Noir
The 2017 Huntress Pinot Noir is the result of a cool vintage, which was a tricky one to start with for a Pinot, she says.
As a result, she gave the wine a relatively modest 17% whole bunch fermentation, using clones 5, 828 and Abel.
These were grown on the On Giant’s Shoulders vineyard, which was originally part of Martinborough Vineyards and then renamed Pahi for the Escarpment Vineyard.
The grapes were given a warm post ferment maceration and egg white fined to reign back the tannins.
“I don’t think I’ll come to a set way to make this wine. It will be what feels right in each season and what style of flavours the vintage gives me.”
She made 1000 bottles of the 2017 Huntress Pinot Noir.
Where to get them
Both wines are available at specialist retail stores.