The Oenophiliac

Bringing you stories from the world of wine and beer.

Jeff Clarke will make Ara ‘standout’

Jeff Clarke, the new winemaker at New Zealand’s Ara, intends to keep the unique style of the winery while making it more of a ‘standout’ wine.

Jeff Clarke ARA wines

Clarke feels that the wines – from the unique alluvial Ara plain inMarlborough – have been ‘missing a little bit of recognisability in competitions’.

‘They’ve been aromatically quiet – it hasn’t been a sufficiently standout wine,’ was how the winemaker, who took over from Ara founder Damian Martin earlier this year, described the wines.

‘We want the microclimate and the terroir to show through,’ he at the London International Wine Fair today.

‘We are going to increase the aromatics without changing the structure of the wine so that it’s recognisable Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc but it retains the characteristics of the terroir.’

Clarke stressed that Martin – who was said to be ‘shellshocked’ by leaving the winery he founded in the mid-2000s – was the ‘overarching driver of the project’. He said it was not his brief to ‘come in and change unique single vineyard wines’.

His responsibility, he said, was to ‘re-connect with expectations of what a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc should be like’.

Ara would continue to follow ‘old world viticultural practices’, chiefly in terms of very gentle irrigation regimes, allowing roots to grow as deep as possible in order to ‘build in extra layers of concentration.’

Clarke was winemaker at Marlborough’s Montana – now Brancott Estate – for 17 years. He is an authority on Sauvignon Blanc and has been instrumental its development in New Zealand.

Story by by Adam Lechmere

Courtesy of Decanter

Follow magicmike29 on Twitter

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on May 18, 2011 by in News..

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,411 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 75,259 hits
<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: