Can you have a wine lighter in alcohol yet still with the sumptuous flavours that the original is known for? Stoneleigh has cracked it with its Stoneleigh Lighter range, with grapes from the Rapuara vineyards, yet it has content that’s 25 per cent lower in alcohol compared with the original Stoneleigh range.
The secret is in the sunstones at the vineyards, coupled with the sunlight and low rainfallâ€”these allow grapes to develop their full flavour while their sugar content is lower. The wines retain the lifted aromatics and vibrant flavours that Stoneleigh is known for.
â€˜To create these new wines, we looked at how we could best capture the characteristics of early ripening grapes in the Rapaura subregion. We identified grapes with the fullest flavour profile and harvested them early in the season to capture each varietalâ€™s signature characteristics in the final wine,’ said Jamie Marfell, Stoneleigh’s winemaker (below).
The Stoneleigh Lighter Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 has an ABV of 9Â·6 per cent, with pink grapefruit and capsicum notes with hints of passionfruit on the nose, and a palate of fresh citrus, stonefruit and passionfruit. Stoneleigh Lighter Marlborough Pinot Gris 2016 has an ABV of 9Â·8 per cent, with aromas of apple and nashi pear, complemented by tropical guava and pineapple notes. Finally, Stoneleigh Lighter Marlborough RosÃ© 2016 has an ABV of 9Â·9 per cent, with notes of wild strawberry, yellow flesh plum and summer berries.
The range is available now in New Zealand through leading liquor retailers with an RRP of NZ$17Â·29.