Sisters Robin and Andréa McBride have combined the love of their environments and their passion for wine to create The McBride Sisters Collection, a line of wines that reflect each of the Sister’s upbringing on opposite ends of the globe – Robin in Monterey, California and Andréa in Marlborough, New Zealand. Although the Sisters were unaware of each other most of their lives, once united their appreciation for winemaking blossomed and they were compelled to share their mutual love of with the world. With The McBride Sisters Collection, the pair has perfected two wines from New Zealand – a Sauvignon Blanc and Sparkling Brut Rosé, and two wines from the Central Coast of California – a Chardonnay and Red Blend. The collection is crafted in the Sisters’ signature style, a blend of old world elegance with new world finesse.
This 2016 Sauvignon Blanc has a perfumed bouquet displaying aromatics of grapefruit, lime blossom, and nectarine. The palate displays nectarine, peach and citrus flavors, supported by some more tropical nuances of papaya, and guava. The Awatere fruit dominates the back of the palate with suggestions of lime, nettles and sage. The wine is generously textured with a refreshing vein of acidity.
The fruit was harvested over a ten-day period starting on the 12th April. It was picked in the cool of the morning, transferred to the winery where it underwent temperature controlled fermentation in stainless steel tanks. The wine was left on light lees for 6 months after blending to contribute some extra palate weight and texture.
75% of the fruit is from Home Block, Wairau Bar where the rich top soils of the lower Wairau Valley Home Vineyard have long been considered the finest agricultural soils in Marlborough. They give us complex flavors and pungent aromatics. Combine this with the influence from Rarangi alluvials deposited by the mighty Wairau River 300 years ago, and the result is wines displaying complexity, personality and expression. 25% of the fruit is from Redwood Hills, Awatere Valley where the naturally low cropping Redwood Hills Awatere Vineyard provides fruit with elegance and length. The soils consist of free draining sandy/silt loams. The cool night’s help retain acidity. The restrained yet powerful fruit from our Awatere Vineyard perfectly complements the more exuberant and fruit forward expressions we get from the Wairau Home block.
Quince, ripe Granny Smith apple and notes of crisp Pear sit atop a nose loaded with complex fruit notes encompassing a variety of citrus – mandarin orange and tangerine. White flower and face-powder round out a nose that just hints at the presence of fine French oak while continuing to focus on intriguing fruit notes. In the mouth, the wine incredibly well balanced, filling the mouth with volume while finishing with an acidity that begs for another sip.
Upon receipt, Chardonnay clusters were pressed lightly via bladder press directly to settling tank. 24 hours later, the juice is racked to tank or barrel where fermentation commences. For added depth and complexity, 50% of the wine was barrel fermented to create classic Chardonnay texture very subtle oak notes. To conserve fresh, crisp, fruit notes, the balance of the wine (50%) was fermented in stainless steel. To further develop the balance between appealing texture and crisp mouthfeel, only 75% of the wine was put though Malolactic fermentation. Following 8 months of aging, the wine is blended before being filtered and bottled.
Black cherry notes sit at the forefront, backed by notes of blackberry and raspberry cobbler. Mocha, toffee, and subtle cola notes round out a nose focused on fruit at the onset then melding into a pleasing mix of sweeter aromatics as the wine sits in the glass. Subtle French oak notes of toasted marshmallow and vanilla bean add complexity and intrigue to the nose.
In the mouth, the wine is well structured, carrying a pleasing amount of fine tannin making the wine friendly enough to enjoy on its own while harnessing enough backbone to pair well with a variety of foods. The wine is supple, without being cloying and finishes with superb balance and a long, lingering finish.
Fermentation and Winemaking:
Clusters destemmed upon receiving at the winery and fermented through completion of primary (12-18 days on skins) before being drained and pressed to barrel. Barrel mix is primarily French with a small amount of Hungarian and American for added complexity. Malolactic fermentation completed in barrel. Maturation in barrel for 18 months before being blended, filtered and bottled.
Aromatically this wine possesses gentle floral notes of rose petals, complimented by strawberries and cream, and bucket loads of freshly crushed red berries. This delicious Brut Rosé is delicately structured and generous. The red fruits carry through the palate, with cranberry, peach, strawberry, and raspberry notes taking center stage. There is a hint of toasty complexity, and some creamy richness from the lees leading into a dry finish with lingering hints of spice. With its beautiful salmon color and delicate bead, this Brut Rosé is sophisticated, crisp and refreshing.
Fermentation and Winemaking:
The great Autumn weather allowed us the luxury of picking the fruit for this wine over a 4 week period, as each vineyard site achieved perfect ripeness. The majority of the Pinot Noir fruit was crushed then soaked in the press for 6 hours to extract color and flavor from the skins. The juice was fermented cool in a fashion similar to white wine to ensure the delicate aromatics and the pure fruit expression was retained. A small portion of the Pinot Noir (5%) was fermented on skins in an open top fermenter and then the total Pinot Noir juice was combined with the Chardonnay fruit which was picked and pressed directly to tanks for fermentation and matured on lees. After cellaring for at least 3 months the base wine was fined and filtered. Sugar and yeast were added to the base wine and the bottled to undergo secondary fermentation and converting sugar into alcohol and CO2. The CO2 pressurized in the bottle is what gives the McBride Sisters Collection Brut Rosé it’s elegant, fine bubbles.
The Pinot Noir was sourced from complementary vineyards sites located in Marlborough’s Wairau Valley, the largest component is from Kelly’s Creek Vineyard in Spring Creek (Andréa helped plant these vines as a child!) located on silt/loam soils in the lower portion of the valley. It is closer to the sea so has less diurnal variation, and this combined with the more fertile soils results in Pinot Noir which has soft silky tannins, loads of succulent red fruits, and soft acidity. The remainder is from vineyards located in the Central Wairau Valley where the soil is much less fertile silt/loams overlying ancient river gravels. There is a greater diurnal range further up the valley, away from the oceans moderating influence. These blocks tend to produce wines with a darker fruit profile and more pronounced acidity and structure. The Chardonnay is from a vineyard in the Central Wairau Valley selected for its floral fruit expression, mid palate richness, and bright acidity.