Hospitality Business Magazine

Early ripening grapes capture Stoneleigh’s lighter side

rsz_new_stoneleigh_lighter_lineupLeading New Zealand wine brand, Stoneleigh, has drawn on the wonders of nature within its Rapaura vineyards to create three new wines that are naturally 25 per cent lighter in alcohol but still bursting with the vibrant flavours and aromas expected from a Stoneleigh wine.

The new Stoneleigh Lighter range includes a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Rosé, which have been crafted to be 25 per cent lower in alcohol* than the classic Stoneleigh wines of the same varietal and vintage.

“The lifted aromatics and vibrant flavours of our Stoneleigh wines are what set them apart. We wanted to capture these signature characteristics in a wine that is naturally lighter in alcohol, but does not compromise on taste or quality,” says Stoneleigh winemaker, Jamie Marfell.

The sunstones within the Stoneleigh vineyards, combined with the high sunshine hours and low rainfall, allow grapes to develop their full flavour while their sugar content is relatively low. These grapes can then be crafted into a naturally lower alcohol wine that still captures the distinctive flavours of the Rapaura sub-region.

“To create these new wines, we looked at how we could best capture the characteristics of early ripening grapes in the Rapaura sub-region. We identified grapes with the fullest flavour profile and harvested them early in the season to capture each varietal’s signature characteristics in the final wine,” says Marfell.

The Stoneleigh Lighter range taps into a growing trend among consumers who want the benefits of a lower alcohol wine without compromising on taste.  Achieving a lower ABV while retaining the distinctive, vibrant Stoneleigh style, was the most important priority when crafting the Stoneleigh Lighter range of wines. The result is three exceptional expressions.

Stoneleigh Lighter Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 has an ABV of 9.6 per cent and is pale straw in colour. On the nose, it exhibits pink grapefruit and capsicum notes with hints of passionfruit, with a palate of fresh citrus, stonefruit and passionfruit. It is best enjoyed slightly chilled on its own for any occasion, or with fresh oysters, mussels or light chicken dishes.

Stoneleigh Lighter Marlborough Pinot Gris 2016 has an ABV of 9.8 per cent and abounds with aromas of apple and nashi pear, complemented by tropical guava and pineapple notes. These fresh fruit flavours make the wine lively and crisp on the palate with nashi pear, apple strudel and spicy flavours and well-balanced acidity. It is ideal to enjoy with appetisers or light seafood dishes, and also pairs well with Asian cuisine.

Stoneleigh Lighter Marlborough Rosé 2016 has an ABV of 9.9 per cent. It is a beautiful light blush colour, with floral notes and flavours of wild strawberry, yellow flesh plum and summer berries resulting in a light and delicate palate. Enjoy it with fresh fish or chargrilled chicken, or a Mediterranean-style salad.

Stoneleigh Lighter will be launched in New Zealand in August and will be available from leading liquor retailers nationwide RRP $17.29.