Dry River Martinborough Pinot Noir 2013
11.5 ha of vineyards are farmed, the fruit sources being the home ‘Dry River’ estate, the ‘Craighall’ vineyard and the ‘Lovat’ vineyard, with vines 20-30+ y.o. The Dry River philosophy is one of ‘farming phenolic ripeness’ utilising old vines, low yields, with no irrigation to produce wines of "modest alcohol levels that reflect the site and vintage”. Dry River adheres to sustainability and care for the site and environment, having eliminated the use of all systemic agrichemicals. The winemaking is gentle and low intervention, with low levels of new oak and early bottling under natural cork. The wines develop well and with longevity. Dry River sees itself as a "classic and timeless producer”, "an understated company with a focussed presence in the fine wine sector”.
I’m aware that Wilco, Heather and Ant are thinking deeply about Dry River’s future in a marketplace that is becoming more crowded than ever. They are adamant that Dry River should not follow fashions and trends, but are always open to beneficial innovation and change that will enhance the Dry River philosophy and style. They also see the importance of communication and transparency between them and their clientele, and these are keys to the future sustainability and progress of Dry River.
Here, I preview the Dry River Pinot Noir 2013 which will be made available to the market in the ‘Autumn Release’ in March 2015. www.dryriver.co.nz
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Dry River Martinborough Pinot Noir 2013Pinot Noir from New Zealand - Wairarapa & WellingtonReview Date : 02-Oct-2015Dark, deep ruby-red colour with purple hues, a little lighter on rim. The nose is very fine and elegantly concentrated with deep and intense aromas of ripe black and dark-red berry and cherry fruits, along with spices and violet florals, and subtle herb complexities. This is very refined in expression, and shows lovely depth. Medium-bodied, richly concentrated and with lively, bright, vibrant and youthful primary fruit flavours, this shows dark red berry fruit with raspberry liqueur, black cherries spices herbs and subtle savoury stalk suggestions. The fruit is supported by very fine-grained tannin structure, tightly bound and the mouthfeel enlivened by fresh acidity. The tannins carry the flavours on the very long finish. This is extremely tight and concentrated, with great linearity of primary flavours. 19.0+/20 Sep 2015 RRP $83.50 – $99.95 Very dark, black-red colour, full, deep and dense. The nose is packed with layers of ripe dark red and black berry fruits, a full array, with subtle complexing layers of interest and detail that unfold in volume. This has density and is quite complete. Medium-full bodied, the richness and sweetness of ripe fruit is the feature. Dark red berry and plums, black fruits, hints of savoury herbs and spices. Lush on palate with concentration, fullness and depth, yet not overbearing. Supple, but substantial structure. This has immense presence, but retains florality. This will develop over a decade. 19.0/20 Jul 2015 RRP $94.00 Very dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues, lighter on rim. This has a densely pack, rich and ripe bouquet with aromas of black and dark red berry and plum fruits, lifted by dark red florals and spice notes, along with complexing earthy elements and a suggestion of minerally reduction. Medium-bodied, the palate features a tightly packed core of black cherry and berry fruit melded with spicy, black plums, unfolding liquorice, savoury herb and violet floral complexities. The fruit exudes richness and succulence, and is stylishly balanced by fine-grained tannin extraction and structure. Savoury whole bunch and mineral reductive nuances emerge and add detail and interest to the vibrant, lively fruit. Fresh, lacy acidity underlines the fruit, carrying the wine to a very long, elegantly concentrated finish. This is an elegantly concentrated, beautifully fresh and succulently rich Pinot Noir with complex layers of interest and detail. Match with pork, lamb, beef and venison over the next 7-10 years, Predominantly clones 5 and 10/5 with small percentages of 115 and 117, from the ‘Lovat’ vineyard, with 20+ y.o. vines, the ‘Craighall’ vineyard with 25+ y.o. vines and the ‘Dry River Estate’ vineyard, with vines 30+ y.o., fermented with 30% whole clusters on average, given a cold soak and fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine spending 14 days on skins and aged 12 months in 20% new French oak, 300 – 500 L in capacity. Approx. 950 dozen made. 19.0+/20 May 2015 RRP $83.50 Full, even, very dark ruby-red colour with purple-black hues, youthful in appearance. The nose is full with rich, ripe dark raspberry and black cherry fruit unveiling dark red floral and violet perfumes with subtle dark herbal nuances. Hints of plums and spices add detail. The aromatics are vibrant and primary in expression. Medium-bodied, a tight and concentrated core of rich, spicy dark red and black berried fruits are entwined with nuances of spicy plums and lifted by dark red floral elements. The fruit is supported by a firm and taut structural line composed of fine, ripe, powdery tannins and fresh, lacy acidity. This has pose and tension and plenty of energy that drives the flavours and textures to a very long, concentrated dry finish with red and black fruits and nuances of complexing savoury herbs and game. This is an elegantly concentrated taut and fine –featured Pinot Noir with the structure and freshness to develop over the next 8-10 years. It will grow in complexity. Serve with wild duck, pork and game meat. Predominantly clones 5 and 10/5 with small percentages of 115 and 117 from the ‘Lovat’ vineyard, with 20+ y.o. vines, the ‘Craighall’ vineyard with 25+ y.o. vines and the ‘Dry River Estate’ vineyard, with vines 30+ y.o., fermented with 30% whole clusters on average, given a cold soak and fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine spending 14 days on skins and aged 12 months in 20% new French oak, 300 – 500 L in capacity. Approx. 950 dozen made. 19.0+/20 Dec 2014 RRP $83.50