Ben Glover, of Wither Hills fame, is now focusing on matters closer to home and has taken charge of his family winery, Zephyr.
Referring to himself humbly as the janitor, Ben creates wines from their own vineyards in the renowned Marlborough sub-region of Dillon's Point. The whites especially deserve to be compared with other world class whites rather than merely the best of Marlborough. No more so than with the MKIII Sauvignon Blanc, that is a star in any line up. Taken from the Rabbit Island block that, thanks to its East/West planting, captures both wonderful aromatics and lush tropical notes in its grapes. Once pressed, the juice ferments in barrels to produce a complex, waxy Graves lookalike, albeit at a rather more accessible price point.
The Glover family vineyards, planted in 1985 alongside the meandering Opawa River, have inspired the family's passion for wine. The vineyard is now very much an aromatic specialist with Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer and Riesling. The viticultural and winemaking philosophy embraces the structural strengths of the vineyard. The wines show classic cool climate precision matched with palate depth and the ability to support texture. Winemaker Ben Glover says "I have always wanted to express the exquisite refined bouquet, the precise structure and the 'line' of these aromatic wines from our farm. Zephyr allows me to do this - winegrowing is a natural expression and extension of what our family and I have done on this property for years and the opportunity to pay them back with home grown, world class wines is too good to be true," says Ben.
This Pinot Gris is from their other family owned vineyard "Alice Mills" named after Ben's grandma. The vineyard is a stones throw from Grovetown, and it was this area that the Glovers farmed and milked cows for close to 5 generations before converting to Winegrowing and moving to Dillons Point. The Gris off this loamy fertile site was machine harvested for skin contact and then gently pressed before being split 90:10 between tank and barrel - The tank to make sure there is purity of fruit and the 10% to provide some texture and ferla notes from wild fermentation in very old neutral french barriques. The wine rested for 3 months before being blended and bottled.
Yellow flint like in colour, with aromas of red apple and crunchy spice, this has pristine poise on the palate of apple crumble and cinnamon, with plenty of crunch and texture behind it.
Great with BBQ, Asian style pork and smoked salmon.